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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1494
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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My wife is the main carer for my two children, I have an

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My wife is the main carer for my two children, I have an access order that allows me to see them every fortnight and holidays. My son is 17 and my wife turned up with him last week and said I now have to look after him. Is this legal?

Hello

Welcome to Just Answer

I am a Solicitor and will assist you.

I am sorry to hear what has happened.

What you need to know is that at the age of 17, the law considers that children aged 16 or over are able to move out of their parents home and their parents consent is not required.

At 17, the court will not make a child arrangements order (new name for residence / contact orders) to confirm whom your son is live. Even if there are any previous court orders in place saying that your son should live with his mother, the mother cannot be forced to comply with such an order and cannot be forced to take your son back.

If your son is now going to be living with you full time and he is still in education you need to consider making a claim for the child benefit to be transferred to you. You can also refer to the Child Maintenance Service to claim maintenance from the mother. They have a useful calculator on their website which details how much the mother should now be paying you.

Let me know if I can assist you further

kind regards

Caroline

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