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Father couldn't locate his teen children for four years; he just learned that son no longer lives with mother

Your Question:
My ex moved to MO 2 years ago from TX. She didn't leave a address where I could find her or the kids. SO needles to say, had NO contact what so ever. Last week, my oldest daughter called me and said my son was still living in TX with her new EX husband.

HOW can I file to gain custody of him? It is a long story and would love to talk further to someone to get some good advie. He is 16 now and from what my daughter toldme, when they moved they asked their mom for my number to come move in with me. SHe told them she didn't know how to contact me and I know that is bull.

First of all, I live in AZ. SHe had denied me visitition for the last 4 years, and even took her to court over that. After spending 4000 for that alone and she continued to play the kids against us, it wasn't worth financially to go back to TX and fight again.

When we tried to call, our name and numbers had been refuse. (we found that out thru the phone company) We had sent letters to the kids for b-days and such and they were returned unopened.

WHen MO contacted me about child support, that is how we found out they moved. HOwever, the SC agency would not give us there address. Also, she filed for support thru support kids in TX which I have currently still been paying on, and at the same time, filed in MO also for child support, and my son dosent even live with her.

My daughter, (now 19) finally contacted us 2 weeks ago and told us alittle on how they didn't want to move to MO and so on. ANd that they asked about living with me.

They were tired of her antics and moving and changing BF like the wind.

After the last court incident and what I figured the kids were going thru, I figured they would contact me when they were old enough and willing to get away from there mother. That is what has now happened. Now I need to find out what to do and how to go get my son.

I did talk to him briefly, but none of this was brought up. Talking for the first time in 4 years, was catching up on how he was.

He said he wanted to stay in TX because he liked school, has a job, and plays football. I don't feel that is reason enough for him to stay there. WE have a standard joint custody divorce thru TX.

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My Answer:

I think you need to consult with an attorney on this one, to know best approach and suggestions. You may not need to retain one, if money is an issue, but spending a few hundred bucks to ask all your questions and get intelligent legal answers could prove beneficial.

If mom has abandoned the child after keeping him isolated from you for four years, I imagine a court would entertain a motion to have your son live with you. But, an attorney needs to tell you this, and how to approach it.

One of the things to ask the court for is assistance with reunification services (i.e., to help you and the son re-establish your bond).

Don't be so quick to poo-poo a 16 year old's desire to keep the only stable things in his life (job, school, athletics). You need to really think about what's best for this kid.

If you have the ability to move to the city where your son lives, and then request sole custody of him, I imagine it'd be an easier decision for a judge.

But again... I have no idea what the legal issues are. You've already got joint custody orders, so that's a good start. The biggest thing is deciding exactly WHAT is best for this kid right now.

And, there may not be any best answer. You may have to argue the least worst answer.

Talk to an attorney for an hour. It'll be worth it.


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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