My son wants to be able to determine if and when he sees his father. His father is in prison now but gets out the end of December. My son turns 16 mid December. Thank you for your consideration.
Yes, a 16 year old child can petition for custody. However, if there is already a custody order that provides the mother with custody of the child (and no access to the father), then there is no reason for the child to file anything. The only time the child (should file anything) is if the father files for a modification of custody. Alternatively, if there is no current court order and the child is concerned that the father will try to have him stay with him, first the child should advise the father of his wishes. If the father does not agree, there is nothing that is forcing the child to go. So again, in this instance the child should wait to see whether the father tries to see him and how aggressive he is in trying to see him, before he decides to do anything. If the father is not cooperating and the child wants to file a petition, he should seek a consultation with an attorney (the mother should do the same, but with another attorney).
Obviously, if the father tries to harm the child at any point ,immediately contact the authority and file a protective order.
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Evan is correct. If there is no order in place, one may not be needed. No one (police etc.) will get involved without a court order mandating visitation. With something this potentially traumatic and serious, you both should go get a consultation so an attorney like Evan or myself can sit down and go over exactly what the status is, notably if there are any court orders already, and also what the father is likely to do upon release. It oculd be you do not need to waste money on any court action now, and could wait and respond or take action if things go a certain way after he gets released. A face to face with unlimited questions and back and forth and complete full facts is the only way to give you a completely precise accurate answer
Yes, MD law provides that a 16 year old may file for a visitation schedule which is in his/her best interests. A judge will have to agree in order for this to become the order of the court. Your son should have a consultation with an attorney.
This is NOT legal advice, is GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, and does NOT establish an Attorney/Client Relationship with you. Therefore my answer cannot address your specific legal situation and you should not rely upon my answer in your legal matter. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California.
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