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My ex and I have been divorced for 15 years. I had primary

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My ex and I have...
My ex and I have been divorced for 15 years. I had primary physical custody of the boys until 18 months ago, when both boys decided they wanted to live with their dad. He currently has primary physical custody of the boys. We have always had joint legal custody of the children. This past January, my ex decided to take the boys out of the only school they have ever known, and moved them to a new district, even though our 15-year-old son was adamantly opposed to going to a new school. He failed all his classes last semester at the new school, and was suspended for 3 days. Since the 3rd week of May, our son has been living with his grandparents (my parents). My ex is opposed to this, and is threatening to take my parents and me to court, even though our son has stated that he will not return to his dad's house, and if forced to go back, will run to his grandparents' home. Does my son have any legal options to help him stay at his grandparents' home, which is in the school district he has attended for years (and wants to graduate from)? Can my sons' grandparents file for guardianship of him? What are our legal options?
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Legal
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9/1/2011
Lawyer: Legalease, Lawyer replied 6 years ago
Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16,388
Experience: 15 years exp all aspects of general law
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Hello

 

18 months ago when the boys went to live with their Dad -- did you and your ex go back to court and have this custody arrangement changed to reflect the change that both boys were living with their father?

 

 

--Mary

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Yes, we did. The court order states that my ex has primary physical placement, but the order also states that "both parties believe that the minor children, ages 14 and 16" (at that time) "are old enough and mature enough to decide when they would like to have placement with their mother, the respondent. They can do so by contacting their mother directly to set up placement with her."
Lawyer: Legalease, Lawyer replied 6 years ago

Hello there

 

May I compliment you on that language used? That means that you are within your rights to accept custody and assist your parents in hosting your son while he stays in the school where he would like to attend, whether your ex likes it or not. For the record here, you still have custody and your son simply is staying at your parents during the week to attend school there. Your ex can certainly take the matter back into court and ask for custody to be turned back to him -- but at this point you are within your rights under the current custody agreement to do as you have been doing in this matter. Once the court considers your son's request to stay with you and your parents the court will most likely have no issues regarding how this is handled.

 

--MARY

 

 

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
I should clarify that I am living in the same school district as my parents. But because of the animosity between my ex and me, and the fact that my ex seems to think it's "open season" on me whenever I have placement of the children, we (my parents, my son, and me) feel that it would be less stressful for my son to stay with my parents, than to stay with me. Which is not to say that my son doesn't ever stay with me. But the majority of time, he is staying with my parents, who are able to provide the stability he needs and craves right now. Do you see this living arrangement posing a problem with the court?
Lawyer: Legalease, Lawyer replied 6 years ago

Hello

 

No problem at all because the primary custody is with you and you have given him permission to remain with your parents for the schooling purpose.

 

 

--MARY

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but the court order does say that my ex (the petitioner) shall have primary physical placement of the children, except the respondent (me) shall have physical placement of the minor children at such times that respondent can arrange for said placement by dealing directly with the children. I found my court order, and I will quote the following, "The parties believe that the children are old enough to decide for themselves when they would like to have periods of physical placement with the respondent." So, even though the court granted my ex primary physical placment, I am not violating the order?
Lawyer: Legalease, Lawyer replied 6 years ago

 

No because your child has chosen to have a period of physical placement with the respondent. There is no contempt of court or violation of the court order here. Now, your ex could take this back into court and get the order changed to remove that language and the court could order your son back to his father, at which point there is not much you can do about it. However, because your son is so late in his teen years, the court will give his wishes a lot of weight and if he gets a few months into the school year it is unlikely that the court will want to move that placement if your son is doing well.

 

--MARY

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