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Author Topic: texas custody laws  (Read 6479 times)

wife1

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texas custody laws
« on: Jun 06, 2011, 01:00:52 PM »
DOes anyone have information on what the laws are in texas having to do with the minor child wanting to move to the non custodial parent. The child is 12 now and will be 13 in dec, he has made it very clear that he wants to come move down here with his father and i but we all know that his bio mom will not allow it nor will she eve entertain the conversation. i know i read somewhere that if there is a substantial change in his home life they would consider it, and they move around alot because his step father is in the military. they just came back from living abroad for 5 yrs, we have lived in the same town for 8 yrs and have no plan on moving. he has mentioned how he doesnt want to keep moving around and that if he could he would move now. we dont know wht to do
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Simplydad

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Re: texas custody laws
« Reply #1 on: Jun 06, 2011, 02:33:28 PM »
You can file a motion for change in custody. In Texas at the age of 12 a child can decide where they want to stay...now keep in mind the judge will still have to grant it but the wishes of a child at that age carries a lot of weight.

Because the child wants to move in with the Non-Custodial parent that is considered a change in circumstance that will allow the motion to be filed with the courts.

Kitty C.

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Re: texas custody laws
« Reply #2 on: Jun 06, 2011, 04:00:30 PM »
'In Texas at the age of 12 a child can decide where they want to stay...'
 
Not quite, Simpledad.....it's important in issues like this that the meaning isn't misconstrued.  A child can VOICE who they want to live with, but you're right.....it still is up to the judge whether it's granted or not.
 
OP, keep in mind that the child just can't say 'I want to go live with Dad because I like it better there.'  If the child gives a fairly mature basis for their decision, it will carry more weight with the judge.
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wife1

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Re: texas custody laws
« Reply #3 on: Jun 06, 2011, 04:39:15 PM »
even though he has voiced his desire to live here with us , we are worried that because his mother has such a uge influence on him he would be too scared to go against her. His exact words were " if i could i would move here right now, but if i go against my mom i will be in alot of trouble" she holds him to her by fear.
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gemini3

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Re: texas custody laws
« Reply #4 on: Jun 07, 2011, 06:04:56 AM »
At the age of 12 a child can express where they want to stay - but that is in the context of a custody hearing that is either the first hearing, or based on a material change of circumstance.  The child's desire to live with the other parent is not a material change in circumstance.  The moves are also not a material change in circumstance.  And, a lot of states are now enacting laws that prohibit using a military members deployment or duty station assignments in a custody decision.
 
Is there a reason that the child wants to leave?  Has something happened?  How are the child's grades and behavior?  It sounds to me like he might be feeling that he needs to show some loyalty or alignment with you guys, and this is how he's trying to do it.  It's hard for kids to be split between parents, and if he feels that you guys are really upset about it, or that you guys really want him to come live there, he may feel the need to make you feel better by saying these things.  It's very common.
 
BTW, it irks me to hear people use the sacrifices military members make for our country against them when it comes to their children.  We don't want to get moved around constantly and be seperated from our family either.  But we do it, because that's part of the job.


MixedBag

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Re: texas custody laws
« Reply #5 on: Jun 07, 2011, 08:24:39 AM »
"BTW, it irks me to hear people use the sacrifices military members make for our country against them when it comes to their children.  We don't want to get moved around constantly and be seperated from our family either.  But we do it, because that's part of the job"
 
Thank you gem!!!
 
20 years retired here -- and all those MOVES actually benefitted my children.
 
They know there's more to life that living where we currently live and that there's sooo much more out there -- and places to avoid.
 
In this case (IMHO), the laws won't protect the mother of the children who is married to the military member....like the SSRA....so the denial of time according to the order is something that can be brought to court etc.....but be careful about bashing the many moves because she is married to a military guy.
 
 

Simplydad

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Re: texas custody laws
« Reply #6 on: Jun 07, 2011, 08:55:50 AM »

'In Texas at the age of 12 a child can decide where they want to stay...'

Not quite, Simpledad.....it's important in issues like this that the meaning isn't misconstrued.  A child can VOICE who they want to live with, but you're right.....it still is up to the judge whether it's granted or not.

OP, keep in mind that the child just can't say 'I want to go live with Dad because I like it better there.'  If the child gives a fairly mature basis for their decision, it will carry more weight with the judge.

 
That is what I meant....your version sounds better...

gemini3

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Re: texas custody laws
« Reply #7 on: Jun 07, 2011, 07:38:55 PM »
I agree MixedBag.   My dad was career military, as is my husband.  I've lived all over the place, and loved it!
 
Unfortunately, when my husband divorced 8 years ago, the climate wasn't as friendly to military folks.  He was denied anything more than standard EOW, and dinner mid-week because of his deployment status.  It's a shame that it ever happens.

wife1

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Re: texas custody laws
« Reply #8 on: Jun 08, 2011, 12:37:55 PM »
Please do not misunderstand what I am saying as far as her husband is concerned and his job. Both my parents were both military and right now my father is on his second deployment to afganistan as well as my brother, to me the differnce of feelings is because the child does not want to go and has made it very clear that he doesnt want to. I can honestly say I dont think he really feels any kind of loyalty to us or worried about hurting our feelings. He has always been a sensitive child and she has made sure to do certain things and raise him rough so that he would stop showing any desire to come with his family over here. There are times when we arent even talking about it or the idea hasent been brough up and he says it himself, there is always a change in his attitude when he has to go back with her and its not a positive one. He is very unsure of himself, seems tohave anxiety, and just a whole bunch of mixed emotions about going back and forth when he does come see his father kind of like he just isent sure if its ok for him to want to be with us. He i not the child that understands what is going on between his parents or why they are unable to get along some kids know what they want and who they want to be with and dont feel bad about it but he isent that child.
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wife1

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Re: texas custody laws
« Reply #9 on: Jun 08, 2011, 12:41:26 PM »
@Gemini he wants to come live with us because his mother has tried to stop him and limit how much he is with his father since birth. she is one of those that " i want him here at this tme exactly and not a minute later" I say what and who you can talk to kind of person, she has been like this since he was a baby. She has a very rough personality and he just isent like that.
trying to make it through each day as best as I can...

gemini3

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Re: texas custody laws
« Reply #10 on: Jun 08, 2011, 12:59:18 PM »
While that's no fun for anyone, that's not going to be enough to warrant a change in custody.  Not trying to say that you don't have a right to be upset.  I'm just telling you how the court is going to look at it.  Most children his age think their parents are too strict.  That's how the court is going to interpret it, unless there's some concrete evidence of problems in the home.  Like grades falling dramatically, conduct issues at school or with the police, etc.

When our kids are supposed to be home a certain time, we expect them to be as well.  We also have told them that they couldn't hang out with certain kids who we thought were a bad influence.  I don't see those things as symbols of bad parenting.  If she's telling him when and what he can say to you or his father... that's another story.  But I'm sensing that it's more of a personality conflict than a bad parenting issue.

It is completely normal for kids to have mixed emotions about going back and forth between houses.  It's not an ideal situation.  But it's better than not having a relationship with one of their parents.  There are things you can do to help the transition be smoother for him.  I recommend the book "Mom's House, Dad's House" for learning about things you can do.

Also, no kid likes moving.  It's completely normal for him to say he doesn't want to go.  You have to leave your friends, you have to go to a school where you don't know anyone and you're the kid who talks funny and wears weird clothes, you have to move to a knew house, etc, etc.  It's not fun, but he'll get over it and get used to his knew home.  By the time I was 15 I had lived in 8 different places.  I moved a LOT.  I hated it every time, and wished I didn't have to move, and missed my friends.  But I always got used to the new place, made new friends, and moved on.  Your job is to let him know that everything is going to work out, and try to help him look on the bright side.

wife1

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Re: texas custody laws
« Reply #11 on: Jun 08, 2011, 02:30:37 PM »
When I talk about the time I mean she is tallking to us like we are idiots, she goes back and forth about when and if she is going to allow him to come over and when he is with us she wants to be able to have him when ever she says and we better jump to it. Its just not fair or right, she is a grown woman with 4 other children  by 2 other men and the only reason she acts like this with my husband is because we show intrest in the boy. If we didnt care to see him she would be throwin him on us thats what tells us there is more to her attempts to keep him away. When te child was 7 yrs old he was already counting calories and checking labels because she would be on a diet and make him be on it too and he is not a heavy child. We worry that she is going to cause him to have emotional issues and there will be nothing that we can do to help him.
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gemini3

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Re: texas custody laws
« Reply #12 on: Jun 08, 2011, 04:18:51 PM »
Ok, so now we're getting into issues of conflict between you and the mother.  Those have nothing to do with the child, and hopefully he is shielded from that as much as possible.  The back and forth, talking to you like you're idiots, etc - that's attention seeking behavior that should be ignored.  Practice low/no contact:  http://www.thepsychoexwife.com/appropriate-means-of-contact-with-high-conflict-personalities/.  If she actually makes good on threats or musings about not allowing visitation, THEN pay attention to it in the appropriate way - which is to file a motion to show cause.
 
Unfortunately "fair" and "right" have nothing to do with the family court system.  If you don't believe me ask any of the other people on this board who have been inside the courtroom.  It's a hard reality to come to terms with, and a lot of people don't until they've spent tens of thousands of dollars.  You have to remember that what seems like a big deal to you is not a big deal to family court judges.  You cuold very well end up in the courtroom the day after the judge terminated the parental rights of someone who burned their child, left their children with a child molestor, starved their child, and so on.  Then you're going to walk in there and say he should take the boy from his mother because she talks mean to you and her son reads nutrition labels.  I don't think a judge is going to have much patience with that.  My husbands ex was forcing hot sauce into their 5yo daughters mouth and putting in a cold shower when she had nightmares.  The judge told my husband he was "making a mountain out of a molehill".  Family court is not the place you think it is.
 
I understand your worry, but it seems like the best thing to do in this situation is to be a model of healthy, mature behavior.  Your stepson will grow up and decide what kind of person he wants to be.  If he's had some good role models he has a much better chance of choosing that path instead of an unhealthy one.  I know you want to hear a different answer - but you asked about changing custody and I am giving you an honest answer on what's likely to happen if you took this to court.  Since you're unlikely to get the outcome you desire, there are other things you can do to make the situation a little easier on everyone.
 
 

Simplydad

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Re: texas custody laws
« Reply #13 on: Jun 09, 2011, 06:59:53 AM »
If visitation is being denied for any reason then you need to file a contempt charge.  You need to make sure you document all missed visits and also take with you to court documentation of the threats.  Like Gemini said family court is not going to worry about things that many of us feel are important.  However being denied visitation on a regular basis could be used as a change in circumstance and that is what you really need to shoot for.  Your child wanting to live with you could be also consider a change in circumstance.  Now if you feel that your child needs to be protected and something is going on then when you make the requested change ask the courts for a GAL for your child.
 
In Texas a visitation law was added to the Texas Family code that grants the non custodial some additional visitation.  This was put into effect in August 2009. Here is a basic breakdown.
 
1.  Non Custodial Parent is granted one overnight visit every Thursday. Starts when the child is let out of school and ends when school begins the followng day. (or 8:00 am if school is out). 
 
2. Weekend visitation begins on Friday and does not end until Monday when school begins (or 8:00 am if school is out).  If Monday is a holiday the visitation is over on Tuesday when school begins (or 8:00 am if school is out). (so you get the child from Thursday to Monday morning.
 
All the non-custodial parent has to do is elect this visitation. This is automatically granted.  The key here is the family code requires the noncustodial parent to make these elections "before or at the time of" the original court order setting out visitation, or "before or at the time of" any modification order. Here is a link to that section of the Texas Family Code - http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.153.htm#153.317
 
 

 

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