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What custody rights do you have toward your teen?

In a situation where you share custody of your teenage child with your ex partner, you have certain visitation rights, parental rights and the right to know certain information about your child when he or she is under the age of 18. But when a child grows old enough to make his or her own informed and personal decisions, as well as his or her own preferences, he or she can choose which parent he or she would like to live with.

It can be heartbreaking to find out that your child would like to move out and live with the other parent, especially if it is done after an argument or angry encounter. But what can be done when you feel that you have been abandoned by your own child?

The reality is that if you were to bring such an issue to the courts, the judge would always rule in the favor of the child's best interests. Therefore, they will take into account the child's preferences first and foremost. However, if there was a danger that the other parent presented, such creating an environment where the child had access to alcohol or drugs, or where the child was missing school when he or she was staying with that parent, then the courts may decide to intervene. However, although heartbreaking, a teenage child has a high degree of free will that is respected by the child custody system.

If you are feeling abandoned by a teenage child and would like to look at your custody options, you should conduct research into what parental rights you are entitled to. You should also consider other ways to reconcile with your child, for example, through counseling or family therapy.

Source: Pop Sugar, "How to Cope When Your Teen Wants to Move in With Your Ex," accessed Nov. 14, 2017

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