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Teenager flew to noncustodial mother's home, refuses to return to custodial father's home

Your Question:
My 16 year old son got on a plane and flew out here to live with me. His father is angry and upset. It is my understanding that my son was miserable out there with his Dad and step mom.

He's a good kid, follows the rules and is doing good in school, so far.

His father will not just sign custody, and I had a CO in place that required me to pay CS.

I am thinking it would be best for me to file for custody *after* my home state can take jurisdiction. In other words, I will wait until December and file for custody here in CA. Once that is taken care of, I am going to file in SC to have the order removed, (sorry forgot what it is called), in lieu of my homestate here in CA taking over on the matters.

Any advice on this?


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My Answer:

Your reasoning sounds okay to me, but you really need to run it by an attorney to ensure your technical legal assumptions are correct.

I'd also be concerned about you facing contempt, if court order says that dad has custody, but you refuse to send the child back. You didn't really make it clear if dad is fighting you on this or not.

I'd also ask an attorney if you are willfully violating the court orders when a 16 year old refuses to live with the custodial parent. I think there has been caselaw where parents of older teenagers aren't viewed as "willfully" violating orders when their good faith efforts fail in the face of a belligerent and determined teen. But, consult with an attorney in your area on that.


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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