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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I have 4 kids, 2 his 2 mine. We have 50% custody of his 2 and this morning their mother called to say the 10 year old wants to only live with her and see dad every other weekend. She also said the 6 year old wants to stay on our current 50% schedule of Friday to Friday.

My husband is distraught and sad. He gives them so much love and attention it is amazing. He is my idea of what a daddy should be.
He has not spoke to his daughter about it but doesn't know what to say?
He cried (he never cries!) he is now telling me he wants his girls happy and will let them be where they want to be.

I honestly don't know what to do in this situation? My husbands depressed and the kids can see it but he is not talking to his 10 year old instead he is ignoring it. He said he can't break down in front of her... I don't think avoiding the conversation is good.

Should my husband have a conversation with the 10 year old or should he ignore it and let her do what she wants?
I know my opinion but I need outside help?
Thank you in advance.
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Unless the mother is unfit, I can't see a problem with it. I can understand a girl wanting to be with her mother.
 

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I think your father shouldn't take it personally and start acting like an adult.

My 14 year old son chose to live with his father. He and I weren't getting along and he felt it would be better to move in with his father. I agreed because at the time it seemed it would work out better for him. I'm not interested in what makes ME feel good or validated but what's best for my son.

However I did tell my son that if he wants to come back he can, provided that he has to live under my rules when he's under my roof. It's his choice. His choosing to live with his father doesn't mean I'm a bad mother though. That's now how I look at it, but it seems your husband is doing just that. It isn't fair to place that burden on his daughter.

A daughter wanting to live with her mother or son wanting to live with his father seems to be natural and necessary at times. It doesn't mean that your husband is a bad father. Sounds like he has some issues with himself as a parent to work out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He is so sad and feels rejected I guess. He also feels whatever she wants she can have.. It is rough to see his tears.
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You are married right? So he is divorced from her? So there is already a custody and time sharing agreement? What is the existing custody agreement?
How long have they been divorced and sharing custody?

Does his ex interfere a lot?

Your husband should not take anything that his ex says as gospel. There is a very good possibility that she is telling the girls that this is the way it should be. And of course they do not want to argue with mom and get in trouble with her. So they agree to her face.

If these were my children I would not go along with any change to status quo unless there is a court order or I could observe with my own eyes and mind that it was better for the child(ren).

Your husband really needs to give up his self-pitty part and act like a father who cares enough about his children to fight to have them in his life. He needs to talk to them like an adult and tell them that he wants them with him as much as possible. Children of this age do not choose their own custody arrangement. When this is allowed they learn to manipulate parents against each other. IN the end it’s the child who loses.

I noticed that you said “We have 50% custody of his 2”. No ‘we’ do not have custody. HE has custody. The reason I point this out is that it sometimes children resent the step-parent. This is especially true if the step-parent over-steps the boundaries. How much of the care-giving do you do of your step-children?
 

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These are adult decisions and neither a 10 year old or a 6 year old should be asked to make them. Their mother should know this. If she wants different custody arrangements, she can go back to court and adults will take a look at it and make whatever decision seems to be in the best interest of the children. If this crazy bat is asking these two babies who they'd rather live with, she's wrong as two left shoes. Maybe in 3-4 years, the 10 year old might be mature enough to consider their input.
 

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There's a legal age where the child is old enough whom to choose to live with. I'm sure it's older then 10 and varies from state to state.

10 is still really young and definitely not old enough to make this decision.
 

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I wonder what is really going on here. Its one thing if the ten year old started the converstion going with a request to live with mom. Its another if the ten year old is being manipulated by any parent into asking for a change in custody.
Ten year olds should not make these decisions, although they should be permitted to voice an opinion. The parents should make the decision. If it is in the child's best interest, then agree to a change. But if it isn't, then don't, regardless of what the child says.
 

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10 is still really young and definitely not old enough to make this decision.
I agree with that. My son was 14 going on 15 when he decided to live with his dad. I think the legal age is 16 where I live but I thought it would be best for my son, because he and I don't get along and his father was constantly undermining me and my decisions so I figured this would relieve the stress and make life better for everyone.

Plus the school system where my husband lives is better and my son was due to start high school so I wanted to start in one school rather than have to move him at a later date.

But 10? Too young. But you can't debate this. At that age you decide where the child is going to live and that's that. If the other parent wants to change the situation they can take it up with the courts.

When the child gets older they can have input into the situation but 10 isn't old enough to make a informed decision. That's when you actually have to be the PARENT and not take it personally, just make the decision and stick with it.

I'm just wondering if the mother is saying/doing things to influence the 10 year old daughter. If so, that's not good. I hate when parents use their children as a weapon against the other parent.
 

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A 10 year old doesn't know nothing about what life is and should not be allowed to make that sort of decisions. Why would that 10 year old come up with that idea? What are the reasons behind it?
Finally, something that we can agree on.
Where you talking about sect leaders, the other day?
 

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Ten is TOO YOUNG. She is not mature enough to make this decision neither is she LEGALLY ALLOWED to make this decision.

Ten year olds want lots of stuff that isn't good for them. Too bad; that's why they have parents.

If your H's ex-w does NOT abide by the current custody agreement (irrespective of what 10yo says/does), then go to court. Absolutely. Ten year old should be told that she is TOO YOUNG to make such important life decisions and that she does NOT have enough life experiences to see ALL the pieces that need to be considered.

Find out what the age is IN YOUR STATE for children getting some input into visitation (states like Michigan MANDATE that the child visit according to custody agreement right up until the kid turns 18yo REGARDLESS of whether the kid wants to visit or not.) then tell 10yo the LEGAL age limit and tell her the situation can be re-visited when she turns that age.
 

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I'm sorry, but kids do know what they want.

My daughter decided at 11 that she wanted to live with me full time because she was not happy seeing her father. She went to him first and then to me. She had valid reasons and we didn't discredit them. It worked out nicely and she became a happier child.

In CA, a child can be 13 and decide where they want to live.

Talk to the child (well the father and his ex) together and work it out. There could be issues with the household that the child is internalizing.

I would HATE to be in a home that I was forced to be in. Maybe the child wants a break from the other kids? Maybe she wants more mom time.

10 isn't too young to make a decision. Good grief. It's not a LIFE CHANGING decision. Holy crap. It can be changed as well. Something is going on with this kiddo and a good, understanding talk should be taking place soon to figure out what the problem is. There's no need for court or all that other stuff. No need to tell the child she's too young to know what she wants, etc. Talk to her.

I don't agree with anything in the post above mine. That would be pure hell to me. As a woman who came from a divorced home, if my parents FORCED me to visit the other just because of THEIR agreement, I would have rebelled even harder than I did. It's not about the parents, it's about the kid.
 

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I'm sorry, but kids do know what they want.

My daughter decided at 11 that she wanted to live with me full time because she was not happy seeing her father. She went to him first and then to me. She had valid reasons and we didn't discredit them. It worked out nicely and she became a happier child.

In CA, a child can be 13 and decide where they want to live.

Talk to the child (well the father and his ex) together and work it out. There could be issues with the household that the child is internalizing.

I would HATE to be in a home that I was forced to be in. Maybe the child wants a break from the other kids? Maybe she wants more mom time.

10 isn't too young to make a decision. Good grief. It's not a LIFE CHANGING decision. Holy crap. It can be changed as well. Something is going on with this kiddo and a good, understanding talk should be taking place soon to figure out what the problem is. There's no need for court or all that other stuff. No need to tell the child she's too young to know what she wants, etc. Talk to her.

I don't agree with anything in the post above mine. That would be pure hell to me. As a woman who came from a divorced home, if my parents FORCED me to visit the other just because of THEIR agreement, I would have rebelled even harder than I did. It's not about the parents, it's about the kid.
Daughter didn't say it - mom relayed it. There is a process for a reason. Was she missing out on activity while at dad's house? A misunderstanding? Mom manipulating? Your experience isn't necessarily status quo in these situations. Alot of parents manipulate children for extra child support, orjust plain selfish missing the kids.
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10 isn't too young to make a decision. Good grief. It's not a LIFE CHANGING decision. Holy crap. It can be changed as well. Something is going on with this kiddo and a good, understanding talk should be taking place soon to figure out what the problem is. There's no need for court or all that other stuff. No need to tell the child she's too young to know what she wants, etc. Talk to her.
  • I didn't SAY that the child was too young to know what she WANTS, I SAID that the child was too young to know what is GOOD for her! BIG difference.
  • It *IS* a life-changing decision, she's deciding with whom she'll live; with whom she will/won't have a steady relationship.
  • Sure it 'can be changed as well', but THAT is a recipe for disaster. She wants to live with Mom...until they have a falling out; then she wants to live with Dad...until he's too strict; then she wants to move back in with Mom...until... it's BS.
  • There IS a need for court! You can't pick and choose WHEN you go to court and when you don't! Only go because it's good for your POV, don't go because you won't get/hear what you want. They are LEGALLY divorced. The court awarded LEGAL custody. The child is LEGALLY a minor. They need to get their butts into court and make any changes to custody LEGALLY [disclaimer: I do not work in the court system, no money is earned by prompting people to see an attorney or seek redress through the legal system]
  • A 10yo is in a WAY different place mentally and emotionally than a 13yo, or a 15yo, or a 17yo. A 10yo is still a LITTLE KID.
 

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There is no set age in California at which a child can decide which parent they live with.

CUSTODY
Currently there is no specific age where the Court will consider the wishes of a child in deciding custody matters. Family Code Section 3042 requires the Court to consider and give due weight to a child's preference regarding custody if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent opinion on the issue. However, this code doesn't specify a certain age nor does it contain a standard percentage of weight for the Judge to place on child's wishes.
VISITATION
“However, commencing 1/1/12, California AB 1050 amends this statute to add that the judge must also consider such a child's wishes re visitation. This amendment further adds that child who is at least 14 years old must be allowed to directly address the court regarding custody and visitation, unless judge finds that it would not be in child's best interests, in which case the reasons must be stated on record.
This section specifically does not prevent younger children from addressing the Court on these issues if appropriate and consistent with the best interest of the child. Currently, Family Code §3042 permits the Judge to provide alternate method for learning about child's preferences if it precludes calling him or her as witness; as amended, §3042(e) now requires the provision of such an alternative.
The Amended Family Code Section 3042(f) adds that child's counsel, evaluator, investigator, or mediator (who is submitting custody or visitation recommendation) must tell the judge if the child wants to address him/her directly or if the parents or their counsel would like to divulge the child's wishes.

So at 14 the court has to hear to be heard by the court. The court does not have to do what the child wants.

This is baisically the law in every state.

When Can a California Child Decide Which Parent to Live With? | California Divorce Guide

We when through this with my step-daughter. She wanted to live with you mother who is an alcoholic and a drug abuser. She was 14 at the time. A court evaluator heard her out. The judge denied her the request. It was not in her best interest.
 
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