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13 son wants to live with his dad, can he? Legal rights

(4 Posts)
JaniceBickfford Tue 23-Feb-16 17:48:24

My son who's 13 wants to live with his dad (we were not married). I really don't want him to, but I'm not sure if I can stop him. I have perantal Responsibility, so I thought I could stop him. But someone said, as he's 13 I can't.
Can I make the police and social services bring him home?
My ex says i can still see him as i live in Nottingham and my ex lives not that far away. But I think my son should live with me.

redhat Tue 23-Feb-16 17:50:10

IME CAFCAS will get involved if the father applies for custody and the court will be heavily influenced by your son's wishes at his age.

ladydeedy Fri 26-Feb-16 17:03:18

Yes he can. My DH's son came to live with us at a similar age.
Does your ex have parental responsibility too? You cannot force him to return to you - my DH's ex tried/threatened this and it made the situation far worse.
A word of warning - because my DSS's mother was so angry (and remains incredibly bitter) about him leaving and coming to live with us she made his life hell as a result and they have a very difficult relationship as a result - even after all these years. If he really wants to go and live with your ex (assuming your ex is happy to have him?), then I suggest you do your best to be supportive and loving, although I appreciate it must be tough news to hear. Also, be sure that this is not just a flash in the pan reaction to something. Ideally you should all think about it and discuss the practicalities of the move for a number of weeks/months before anything happens.
Good luck.

traviata Fri 26-Feb-16 18:17:53

Legally, he isn't old enough to decide, but practically, if it is what he wants, it will be more or less impossible to stop it.

If it went to court, CAFCASS would interview him and his wishes would be very significant. The court would only disregard your DS's wishes if his dad was really incapable of looking after him, or was an immediate and obvious risk (eg conviction for sexual assault on boys, strong evidence of regular hard drug use, not just occasional cannabis or similar).

The fact that his dad might be poor at setting boundaries or might let him eat crap food and stay up too late - that is unlikely to be enough to outweigh his wishes.

It does also depend on why he wants this.

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