Q: I have existing 50/50 custody of my 16 yr old. She doesn’t want to come back right now and her father is encouraging her
My 16yr old doesn’t want to return to my home right now because she doesn’t like the rules or “treatment” (getting phone taken for failing grades and bullying) her father encouraged her to stay with only him as he’s tried 3x for full custody, never won. She is not monitored or corrected at his home and he doesn’t think her bad decisions are that bad. He says she’s not going with me since she doesn’t want to. Now he won’t respond to my attempts to contact him. It’s been 2 months and I haven’t filed anything yet because I’m saving for a lawyer and don’t want to fill out paperwork wrong. I spoke to 1 lawyer that said it’d basically be a waste of time and money because they’ll grant her teenage discretion. I know she’ll be 18 soon but this is not right and I want the time left in her childhood that I’m legally entitled to. What can I do quickly to rectify this? Am I really just at a loss here? I’ve always been in her life, this is out of spite from the father. Please help, I miss her.
A: It is true that due to her age she might be granted teen-age discretion. However, if you are able to prove that in spite of her age, being with her father full time is not in her best interest due to lack of supervision, rules, proper discipline and/or guidance, the judge might not award teen-age discretion and will either continue with the joint custody or possibly modify it to give you more time with your daughter.
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