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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102356
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My son who is 16 moved with his father to state Ausgust 1st.

Customer Question

My son who is 16 moved with his father to Washington state Ausgust 1st. He no longer wants to live in Washington state with his father, it is stressing him out. His afather and I had signed an agreement saying that the kids would give it 6 months before moving back, but he feels that he can not wait that long (he being the 16 yr old son) Can he move back if that is his choice?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation, C. Can you please clarify:

1) Is there formal, court-ordered custody for the child? If so, who is the managing custodian - you or the father?

2) The agreement that you and the father signed for the child for the 6 month trial period - is this a court order, or, an informal agreement between you and the father?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The custodial is the father and the court order has me having them Wednesday threw sat every week. It was an informal agreement not court ordered
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
We have been divorced since 2009
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times.

1) The agreement signed informally is not enforceable because (a) informal agreements for custody are not enforceable as a rule unless ratified by the court and (b) especially if they go against an established court order. Ergo, even if the agreement says 6 months trial period, the father still has the right to custody regardless.

2) The child does not decide which parent they want to live with. You can file a Petition to Modify Parent Child Relationship and his preference will a factor that the Court considers, especially if he is now a bit older. However, this is not a confirmation that the Court will agree (of course if the father will agree, then the Judge will sign off on it).

3) Ergo, I am afraid that the onus is on you to file the suit (or threaten to do so) unless the father agrees to let him go back to Texas and also signs off on the modification of formal modification paperwork peacefully. Let me know if you need a copy of the paperwork.

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I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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