Hello. I'll be happy to assist you.
If the child custody
order states that your son is to be with you, you have the legal right to retrieve him from his father's home. As you suggested, it would be wise to bring along a police officer if you think it could end up being a confrontational situation. That's the easier of the two questions.
Your second question, however, is much more difficult to answer. I'll start by saying that a judge is obligated to issue a custody order that lays out a visitation and living plan that's in the best interest of the child
. In your son's case, since he's 15, the judge will place some weight on preference regarding where he wants to live. Keep in mind, however, that the judge is not required to go with what he wants. His reasons for wanting to live with his father will play a major factor. For example, if he tells the judge that he wants to live with his father because he doesn't have any rules, has little supervision, etc., the judge is not likely to place much weight on his opinion. When the judge determines what custody plan is in the best interest of the child, he will look at the following factors:
These factors include (1) the desires of the child; (2) the emotional and physical needs of the child
now and in the future; (3) the emotional and physical danger to the child now and in the future; (4) the
parental abilities of the individuals seeking custody; (5) the programs available to assist these
individuals to promote the best interest of the child; (6) the plans for the child by these individuals or by
the agency seeking custody; (7) the stability of the home or proposed placement; (8) the acts or
omissions of the parent that may indicate that the existing parent-child relationship is not a proper one;
and (9) any excuse for the acts or omissions of the parent.
After reviewing all of the facts of your case, the judge will apply those factors and determine if he wants to alter the custody order to allow your son to live with his father, or to keep him with you.
I hope that answers your question. If not, feel free to ask follow up questions. If so, please remember to "Rate" my answer before you go. Good luck.