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#390261 - 05/14/08 12:58 AM at what age does a teen have a "right"
cheather Offline
recently joined

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 6
I have a 14 year old who does not want to see her father on the court appointed weekends. When does she have a "right to have a say so in court". :confused:

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#390262 - 05/14/08 03:14 AM Your question was different [Re: cheather]
Melody Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 10102
Loc: California
on the other board. Technically, a teenager has no "say so" until they are 18. However, some courts will HEAR a teenager's opinions/thoughts/feelings on custody/visitation but that does not mean the teen gets to say what they want and they get it. The court will still make the decision based upon the best interests of the child, but they MAY consider the child's wishes when making the decision.

So...while your attorney would certainly have the right to have the child testify or speak with the judge, the child herself does not have the right to say what she wants...only if the judge feels that she is mature enough and is willing to hear her.

Since your story is posted on the other board, I'll go by the info that you posted there. You've mentioned that your child is busy....I'm sorry but being BUSY is not an adequate reason to modify a court order to reduce visitation. It is possible to request a modification so that the visitation can ACCOMMODATE the child's schedule....but then what would prevent more and more activities in order to avoid visits. If it's sports, then the visits can certainly be adjusted to the sports schedule. We did that way back when my daughter was in 5th grade...she's a junior now.

You mentioned the stepmother slapping her....but without documented proof or testimony from your child, the courts will not recognize that as having happened...so it's worthless as a reason. If there are issues, then they must be dealt with through counseling, psycho therapy, etc. and THEN perhaps some recommendation could be made to exclude the step family from visitation. I did that in my case. The ex is not allowed to have the step family present during visitation, so that means no overnights at his home.

Just because Dad doesn't come to her events, doesn't mean that she doesn't have to go visit on the scheduled weekends. If she has an event to attend, then he should be able to take her or allow her to go for a while....after all, if the family was intact, she would probably be off at her event and not see him much that day anyway.

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