What age do kids get to choose?

(14 Posts)
LisaB777 Thu 15-Sep-16 17:47:00

My boys have said they do not wish to stay overnight with their father, my STBXH, once he moves in with his girlfriend. They are 12 and 15. He has told them they don't to choose. Legally it's his right that they stay with him 8 nights a month.
My question is can he legally enforce this against their will?
I'm panicking as they're now quite stressed by this latest comment from him. Any advice gratefully received.

Lunar1 Thu 15-Sep-16 17:51:14

I think if it went to court your 12 year old would be listened to. I'm guessing they would want to check there was no parental alienation going on. I doubt a 15 year old would be forced to go to their dads. What are their reasons for not liking the girlfriend?

Fourormore Thu 15-Sep-16 17:58:11

Panicking isn't going to help matters.

The isn't a set age. It depends on the issue, the child's maturity, their ascertainable wishes etc, however at ages 12 and 15 their wishes will likely hold some weight.

If you refuse to make the children available then yes he could apply for enforcement.

LisaB777 Thu 15-Sep-16 18:43:27

They haven't met the girlfriend and at the moment don't want to at the moment. Their dad hadn't spent a huge amount of time with them when we were all together, so now they are spending more time with him than they have ever done. (Every wed, alt weekends). I don't think they want to share this time at the moment with a third party.

I've said that they shouldn't be 'not wanting to meet her' for my sake.. Its their 'dad-time' and their choice. And they say it's not because me, they just aren't ready. I just think they need time to adjust to the thought of him with someone else as they are still angry with him for the break up (- caused by a different woman, not the current one). But it looks like he may not want to give them time to adjust, by forcing them to meet her and stay there. Sad that he's still putting what he wants as a priory over them... That much hasn't changed.

LisaB777 Thu 15-Sep-16 18:52:54

Just to clarify, they really want to see him still, just they don't want to meet the latest woman, or stay with him if he moves in with her when our family home is sold. It's not me stopping him have access to them. I'm pleased he's finally spending some time with them after putting all his hobbies and social life ahead of them for the last five years... Shame he's possibly about balls it all up again...

Heatherjayne1972 Thu 15-Sep-16 21:51:38

My solicitor said 14

Minime85 Thu 15-Sep-16 21:58:41

What an idiot to force them. Mine are 8 and 11 and they choose. 11 yr old goes less now at secondary and dad has had to accept it. Sounds like you've done it the right way. If he drags them into a court he is an arse

Runningissimple Fri 16-Sep-16 06:29:06

Just been through exactly this with an 11 and 14 year old. The court gave their feelings much more weight than I expected. He continued to try and force his agenda but after the most horrible year of fighting he has finally backed down.

He accused me of parental alienation because the kids had issues around meeting his new partner (affair partner) and he wouldn't respect that and told them they had no choice.

My younger child still categorically refuses to go. I am hoping that him backing down will give her the space she needs and that she will resume contact soon with encouragement. I forced her to go for a while and it didn't help. It's all very sad.

If he's being unreasonable the courts will see that. It's important to stay calm and not let him cast you in the role of hysterical, angry jealous ex-wife...

Court really did not make the kids come into line. They are really angry that he did it.

Mummydummy Sun 18-Sep-16 20:36:20

I think he's foolish if he thinks it wise to force them. He needs to respect their wishes and move gently - by doing otherwise he could really alienate them. My DD decided at 15 she didn't want to to and fro anymore - she stopped going to her Dad's for a while during her GCSE's. I advised my XH to take her out for dinner or day trips but just not expect her to come back for the night automatically. She's now started to go again occasionally at weekends. I'm sure his patience and respect for her views (though he was hurt) helped.

user1474193901 Sat 24-Sep-16 16:38:27

What do I do if they decide they don't want to visit STBEH? I most certainly don't want to force them, but I a scared he will use it against me if I don't.
I'm on their side, and will support their choices whatever they are, but don't necessarily want to give him any opportunity to have me in court.
He's such a control freak, it's all about the control. Any advice greatfully received.

Fourormore Sat 24-Sep-16 17:05:32

If you didn't make them available, he could apply for enforcement.

Mediation might be a better way forward if the children aren't able to talk to their father about their concerns themselves.

user1474193901 Sat 24-Sep-16 17:47:47

They've spoken to him about their concerns. I've raised it in mediation too, and he has said that he won't force them. But then said in private to the eldest that he was old enough to decide but his younger brother wasn't, so he doesn't get to choose - so, not at all what he has agreed in mediation, or what he has told the youngest.
Honestly I think that now he can't control me, he's trying to do it to them...

Wallywobbles Sat 24-Sep-16 18:29:35

I'm in France where the courts are known for being v hard arsed about this but they heard my kids on this subject at 8&9. They were given a lawyer too by the court. They met with her just before the audience with the judge. It was very private I wasn't allowed to be there.

user1474193901 Sun 25-Sep-16 15:25:51

Thank you for the advise.

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