Salt Lake City, UT asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Utah

Q: Can a child choose to live with dad. Even though he is on supervised visits issued by a judge.

2 years ago dad was put on supervised visits because he is an alcoholic. The mother began to let the kids go with their father without supervision and without going back to court. Now the 14 year old child wants to live with dad. Is that possible?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Mike Branum
Mike Branum
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: Possible? Almost everything is. Advisable? Probably not unless dad is a year sober. Legal? You have already set a precedent by allowing variations from the court order. If dad petitions the court, he could possibly get more visitation than the current order but it is much less likely that he would be awarded primary custody absent a finding that it is in the child's best interest. If dad is still an alcoholic, that would be a tall order.

You do not really indicate your position regarding the situation. If you are asking if you can just throw your child to the wolves and allow them to live with their alcoholic father, then the answer is sure, you CAN do a lot of things. If your child is abused, neglected, injured, or killed due to the inability of your alcoholic ex to "adult," you could be held accountable for failing to protect your child.

Teenagers are difficult to deal with when you have two parents who are working collaboratively to do so. You are in a most unenviable position. If the dad continues to struggle with addiction, you should attempt to comply with the court order as much as possible. The guilt you will have to endure if anything happens to your child while with dad unsupervised will be immense. If dad is making progress and staying sober, it would be a lot more reasonable to consider unsupervised visitation and/or primary custody.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.