You went through a lot of legal hurdles to have full physical custody of your son. For the last 10 years, he’s lived with you and you’ve done a great job with raising him. His dad has also been involved, sending child support payments and honoring the visitation schedule.
The thing is, you’re the one who’s done the parenting and you’re the one who’s created the structure. Meanwhile, dad has showered him with gifts and more aptly played the role of a fun older friend. Now, dad is telling your 15-year-old son that he’ll buy him a new sports car if he’ll come and live with him.
Can you stop this from happening?
You can try to stop your son from moving out
You’re in a tricky situation from a legal perspective. Your success in keeping your son at home will largely depend on your success in convincing him to stay. Teenagers can be headstrong and rebellious. We’ve all been there. Your son’s urge to move out may have more to do with his urge to establish a feeling of independence than it is about wanting a new car.
As the parent with sole physical custody, you can order your son to stay home. However, the father can file an action in court to change the custody order. Because your child is now old enough to play a role in the discussion, an Alaska court will weigh his opinion heavily when deciding the matter.
Remember, the judge will still consider the best interests of your child most importantly in this situation. It might be that the judge will take note of your husband’s role as “friend” and “gift giver,” and the judge will determine that your son is better off living with you, the parent who’s doing the “parenting.” However, these situations are difficult to predict.
A family law attorney can advocate for you
When you face the threat of losing child custody, a family law attorney can help you navigate your child custody proceedings. Your lawyer can highlight the reasons why you’re a more suitable parent and your ex is not. He or she will also know the laws and prior case decisions that can be used in support of your legal arguments.