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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34277
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Custody of my 9 year old son

Resolved Question:

My son is 9. He has lived with his mother since we split when he was 2. She stopped me seeing him for 4 & 1/2 months before I took her to court twice to get access. I now have him every weekend and half of every holiday. He is having a bad time at school and has asked to live with me, my wife and her 2 14 year old twins. He calls every night and says he misses us. His mother has drummed into his head that he will never live with us even though when he stays here he doesn't call her. He opened up last weekend and said that he doesn't want to upset his mum because she will stop him seeing us again. I'm currently out of work but my wife is working. We are struggeling with bills but still feed and clothe our kids. Would I stand a chance at another court case for custody? And would the court ask his opinion or is too young?  I'm willing to let her have the weekends and holidays if she wants but feel he will do better at school and be more happy in a secure home that he loves.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What is the problem with school?
What would change if he moved to live with you?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He has been disruptive and has been isolated in all classes for over a year.He lashes out at his friends and recieved a 2 day exclusion for hitting a child on the knee with a plastic bottle. Since that he has improved. His mother has looked at him changing schools and his head teacher thinks that is a good idea. So do I. The trouble is he wants to change to a school here and live here. He opened up last week and said he doesnt want to upset his mum and is worried she will stop him seeing me again. She threatens that when ever I ask to talk about him living with us. She is single and seems to use him as security and a bargaining tool. I know he loves her but some of the texts she has sent are very aggressive. Saying "well he wont be living with you as im his parent". I have no intention of stopping him seeing her whenever he wants but also know if I did get custody he would start to not want to go there at weekends. She is using him like a weapon and its destroying me. My wife loves him. Her twin boys love him and he loves them. My main reason for wanting him to live here is the schools are better. At the moment she work till 5pm and he has to go to his grandparents (her parents) and gets very bored. If he lived here, he would be able to come straight home with his brothers. That alone would make him happier. Like I said. Im currently out of work and not eligible for job seekers as I claimed less than a year ago. My wife only earns £200 pw so we are struggeling to pay bills but we do make sure the kids a clothed, fed and the house is clean. I love him very very much and i have always had a strong bond with him. I dont want to force the situation but feel she is dictating his life without thinking of his happiness. Also I dont want to force a court case if they wont hear his side of things as he is only 9. Im not doing this to be spiteful and have kept all text messages as proof of conversations we have had. Is there a chance that I would gain custody or would I be hurting my son further? Im lost as to what to do.,

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
What support and assistance has the school/local authority offered in terms of his behaviour?
(This is relevant to finding the way forward)
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The school requested a counselor to come every monday. Her name is XXXXX XXXXX I dont know much more than that. I will call the school next week and ask for her details so I can get copies of her reports. I do know that she has said there is nothing wrong with luke like adhd or asperges. Also I found out luke is still being seperated from the other kids in class and has been for over a year. When I phoned his head teacher he assured me he wasnt being seperated. I called offsted for advice who logged mu complaint that day and agreed that he should not be seperated as it is a form of mental abuse. I know his mum is trying to change his school but im still concerned that shr wont entertain the idea of him living with me.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
How long do you have him for at the weekends/
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Friday from 6pm till sunday 6pm. She now wants him back on saturday night every other week. So she can spent sone quality time with him. Which I have no problem with.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
How far away do you live?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

18miles

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare. About 35 mins. We both drive. Just wondering if the courts would ask my son what he wants or are they just going to scrutinize me and his mother? Like I said im currently out of work and not eligible to claim job seekers due to a claim less than a year ago. His mother is being rather difficult again since I mentioned that he wanted to live with us last week.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
At 9 your son is too young for his wishes to be decisive in the matter - so whilst his wishes are of interest they will not decide the matter
There is clearly some problem which is causing your son's behaviour problems and this is something that needs addressing - so you should try and discuss matters with your ex using Family mediation - and a mediator trained to work with young people (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
Whether this will lead to an immediate change of residence is far from certain - but it may lead to a reduction in the aggression that he witnesses in the approach of his mother
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
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