What are the father’s rights to custody of a 17 year-old son who lives with the mother?

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2011

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What are the father’s rights to custody of a 17 year-old son who lives with the mother?

My son lives with his mother. We were never married and never went to court for custody or child support. We had a mutual agreement that we have stuck with. My son now wants to live with me against his mother’s wishes. I need to know what legal rights we have for my son to reside with me?

Asked on July 28, 2011 Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You have the same legal rights as your son's Mother to custody and to visitation.  It may now be the time for you to establish come type of written agreement and schedule.  If his Mother will not agree then you need to go and seek help to obtain custody of your son.  Your son is at the age now that he can testify before a judge and the judge will indeed take his testimony in to consideration in making a determination as to who is the custodial parent.  Please note that the court wants to hear a valid reason for giving custody to you and not just that his mother is too strict or has too many rules or won't let him go out on the weekends.  It is quite reasonable for a 17 year old boy to want to have some time with his father.  Good luck.

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