[Solved] How much choice does a 13yr old have?
My partner has a now 13 yr old and an 8yr old. He went through the courts to get a child arrangement order about 2 years ago and was awarded every other weekend fri to mon and every Wednesday overnight plus 50/50 of holidays.
His ex hates the fact that he gets so much time and continues to say the children (particularly the now 13yr old) are suffering at having to share their time with both parents.
In truth the 13yr old knows her mum will let her do anything and always has, however my partner does not accept rudeness and there is a consequence if one of the children has been naughty or not done as they were told. E.g not allowed on the PS4, confiscates phone, not allowed out for the night etc etc just the usual things a parent does!
Mum will not communicate with my partner unless it’s to say he is being uncivil etc (he never is and Infact often uses an independent 3rd party to write his replies to her messages in order to stop her accusations)
Anyhow she is now saying the 13yr old doesn’t want two homes, that her mental health is suffering etc but won’t update him on the appointments she is taking her too (even though it’s in the court order that she must)
She is hinting that the 13 yr old should be allowed to choose if she no longer wishes to go to his. Is this right? What age does the court order stand until unless they go back to have a different agreement made?
It’s so tough to be a decent parent to a teenager that knows she can get away with what she wants at her mothers (of course she will choose to be with her as she lets her do as she pleases) but if boundaries are not put in place now god knows what she will be like at 15+
Any advice welcome
Has he tried writing to her formally to request the information and to remind her that sharing it forms part of the order and as such, if it’s not forthcoming, she will be in breach of the order.
Further that the defined contact time is also ordered and should be complex with, not to do so would also constitute a breach that can be enforced.
If the issue is returned to court, at 13 his daughter would be listened to, but its not possible to know if the court would vary the order because of it.
The order stands until the child is 18, although it’s a grey area and there is a consensus that a child can decide at 16.
It’s a very difficult situation when there isn’t unity of parenting, children do play one parent off against the other to get what they want.
Best of luck
Thanks For your response Mojo,
Yes he has tried corresponding through email as the court stated that was the only way they should communicate.
Unfortunately his ex will suddenly every now and then decide that she doesn’t want to correspond directly via email so gets her father to respond instead and tells my partner to message him because it makes her anxcious receiving his emails!
My partner obviously follows her requests, but then she starts contacting him again directly. He can’t win for trying to do the right thing.
He is worried they will say his daughters mental health is suffering etc because he is trying to enforce the order by her attending. He is mindful that her mother is slowly turning their daughter against him but also doesn’t want to look like he doesn’t care about her thoughts and feelings.