Thank you for that additional information. These situations often hit teenagers the hardest, as they've known little else in their lives. Younger kids seem more adaptive to change.
To answer your question, it could impact your claim for primary custody for this oldest child, and slightly impact the custody determination for the other two. You see, a court will almost always sign off on an agreement that the parents agree to. But when custody is contested (meaning that you can't come up with an agreement as to custody / child support / visitation / etc...) then the court is going to make that determination. It will use a number of factors to determine what the "best interests of the child(ren)" is/are. Some of these would be:
- Physical Health and Safety
A child's physical safety is always a primary concern. This includes ensuring that neither parent poses any risk of physical violence either to the child or to the other parent; judges will take seriously any history of domestic violence. A judge who finds that a parent’s actions pose a risk of substantial harm to the child may order that custody be supervised or suspended. At the same time, unless a parent objecting to custody can prove that the other parent is abusing the child, a court will usually find that it’s in the child’s best interests to have time with each parent.
Judges consider the general stability of the environment in each parent’s home, as well as the quality of the interaction between the child and each parent, and the extent to which each parent has participated in child care both before and since the separation. Courts also consider sibling relationships and usually try to keep siblings together. If the judge believes that a child is old enough and mature enough to make intelligent choices, then the judge may allow the child to state a preference as to custody. The law does not specify a minimum age, but the older and more emotionally mature a child is, the better the argument that the child should have substantial input into custody arrangements.
- Co-Parenting and Communication Skills
A court will consider each parent’s ability to communicate and cooperate with the other parent. The key factor here is the ability to co-parent in a peaceful and civilized manner. Willingness to be actively involved in a child’s life is important, but a parent must not interfere with the child’s time with the other parent—a parent who does will be at a distinct disadvantage in any custody dispute.
Practical considerations include the distance between the parents’ homes, the location of a child’s school, the parents’ employment responsibilities, and the age and number of other children in each home. There is no magic formula for weighing such considerations, and it is not always possible to predict how much weight a judge may give to any particular factor.
A judge will also try to keep siblings together if at all possible. Sometimes this is not possible, in light of the expressed choice (if the choice is from a reasonably mature child) of the children, but that is a consideration. That's why I say it could slightly impact the custody of the other two, in that the judge could consider the choice of the eldest child in determining the custody of the other two.
IF you allow your child to do this, you should have a clear written agreement with your husband that this is meant to be temporary only, for X months, after which the child will be returned to your care and custody. In that situation, you can at least argue that you never intended for your husband to get custody of your oldest child, but rather you were doing this solely for the best interests of your eldest, hoping that it would smooth the transition to living away from his father. That would be the best way to do this without giving up any rights that you might otherwise have.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!