Vineland, NJ asked in Child Custody for New Jersey

Q: I’m gonna be 18 in 1m and 12d I stay with my mom and that’s where all my belonging are, my dad has custody of me right

Now, can he make me go “home” where he sleeps on the floor and has no beds?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Millburn, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: lets start off addressing the easier question- When you turn 18, you will have the right to determine where you will live, regardless of the agreement or court order entered into by your parents.

Now, lets address the bigger issue - the custody and support plan that is best for you. Even though you will not turn 18 for an additional 41 days, 6 hours and 12 minutes, it makes no sense that you would be forced to sleep in a setting where you and your father do not have proper accommodations for you to remain with him on an overnight basis. I'm not sure if both of your parents are in tough financial straits or if its only your dad but my concern is whether you have proper access to medical care, educational opportunities and proper financial assistance. If both parents are in the same setting, you may want to contact social services in your county to see if there are governmental benefits available to you to help you and your mom.

Understand also that if dad says that you must come back to his home because he has a court order or agreement requiring it, given the setting presented and your age, you have the right to push back and tell him that given that you have no bed and given that you will be 18 shortly, you dont want to go back to his home to sleep. If he disagrees, his recourse is to call the police, who will then want to speak with you ( since the decision is not caused by your mother refusing to let you go back to his home) and you have the right to tell the police that you will be 18 years old shortly and that you have no bed at his home and that you dont want to go back. My sense is that the police will inform your dad that they cannot force you to go back and that if he disagrees, he can file an application with the court for relief, but by the time it is heard, you will be 18 years old and most likely, the court will respect your wishes at that point.

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