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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 01-14-2022, 10:06 PM
backinthesaddle backinthesaddle is offline
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Default Custody change when a teen.

Asking for a friend who is going through a challenging time. She has had fully custody of her children for 14 years. The kids went to their dad’s 7 days a month. They are now 16 and 18. He is paid child support but refused to adjust the annual support guidelines and his income increased 50 percent since the court agreement was signed. Now that they are older he has bribed them with cars, tv’s and a much better lifestyle than what their mother could offer them. It all started over a teenage mother/daughter fight over chores. Over to dads they went. She was under the assumption it was a temp change and they would come back. So it’s been 8 months and friend received a motion to change custody and support. He also wants child support for the last 8 months and have it continue moving forward. He still pays her so that is something she was willing to sort out. On the document it says the kids are victims of emotional abuse. He wrote out every person he knows for a witness. My friend doesn’t know these people or ever met them. Not sure what kind of statement they could make. Do judges see through this teenage manipulation tactic and one parents need to “win” at any cost?
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Old 01-14-2022, 11:31 PM
Stillbreathing Stillbreathing is offline
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A 16 and 18 year old vote with their feet and can basically live with whichever parent they want. The 18 year old is an adult over which your friend (and the judge) have absolutely no control over where they live. Child support ends when they turn 18 unless they are pursuing post secondary education. As for the 16 year old, it’s really a waste of time and money to go back to court over custody and access. First of all, by the time your friend actually gets to court and goes through a case conference and then a motion, six months to a year will have gone by and now the child is 17 and the status quo is entrenched even more (plus they are now almost 18). Your friend’s chances are slim to none that a judge will order the child to move back to them ( unless she can prove severe abuse or alienation and even then her chances are close to zero). A judge will also not order police enforcement of a custody agreement for such old teens as doing so would likely fail and could have disastrous consequences.

Your friend’s best bet is to keep the communication doors open with the kids, let them know she misses and loves them and they are welcome back anytime. Offer her ex 50/50 and adjust child support accordingly. As for the 18 year old, there is no child support payable unless they are still attending school and a dependent of the marriage.

It’s not the end of the world. Teens can be difficult and irrational. That’s normal. Their brains aren’t fully developed until they are 25 and it’s then that they will be able to see through your friend’s ex’s manipulate behaviour.

There really isn’t much anyone can do if a 16 and 18 year old decide to move in with the other parent, for whatever reason. Teenagers are naive and impulsive. If they want to live with the other parent there really isn’t much she can do. She shouldn’t put her energy and money into fighting a battle she will most likely lose. Life isn’t fair. Her ex may get away with this for a short while but she needs to step up, be the better person and take the high road.

Last edited by Stillbreathing; 01-14-2022 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 01-15-2022, 12:04 AM
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Janus Janus is offline
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Kids are living with the father so the mother will have to pay child support. If CS simply covered the costs of having children, then bribing them with money would be a lousy idea. Unfortunately, at most income levels, CS is substantially above the marginal cost of raising a child, which makes bribing them a worthwhile endeavour.

Honestly, I'm surprised that more parents don't do this. The cost of having a child for 7 days a month is pretty much identical to having the child 20 days a month. Nobody spends an extra $1000 a month on food for the extra 13 days.

Originally Posted by backinthesaddle View Post
Do judges see through this teenage manipulation tactic and one parents need to “win” at any cost?
What is there to see through? A judge will not make an order against the wishes of a 16 year old.

According to family law, the primary objective is the best interests of the children. It is in the best interests of the children that they live where they want to live. It is also in the best interests of the children that the mother pay child support.

Mother could try to bribe them back. She presumably got a lot of tax-free money over the years, so she could use some of that as bribing capital.
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Old 01-16-2022, 02:21 PM
pinkHouses pinkHouses is offline
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pinkHouses has a little shameless behaviour in the past

She is owed back child support as far as I can tell but normally a judge wants to know why there was a delay but not always.

To offset the new child support how many years can she go back for back child support?
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Old 01-16-2022, 03:09 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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If he knew his income went up significantly then the onus is on him to update. She should be asking him for proof of income as far back as the last time he provided it.

Then she can say her cs that she owes him is offset by the amount he owes her.

Then she can let him know that she agrees to 50/50 custody and she expects him to foster a relationship with the children as she did him.

He will make it painfully obvious this is only about money which will be bad on his part.
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