15-Year-Old Wants to Live With Non-Custodial Parent – Help!

So your 15-year-old wants to live with a non-custodial parent. The bad news is the road ahead is not going to be easy the good news is at the end of the day it is up to you they may resent you for a while but the decision is up to the guardian of the teen.  

a judge believes that you are better suited to take care of this child than the non-custodial parent.

There are two major categories this type of situation falls under the first is that the child under no circumstance should be allowed to live with the non-custodial parent the other situation is the non-custodial parent is capable of taking care of the 15-year-old.

 it really comes down to your specific situation and what you believe is best and most safe for the teen.

15-Year-Old Wants to Live With Non-Custodial Parent

Is Living With a Non-Custodial Parent Even an Option?

The simple answer is yes it is an option. If you believe at the non-custodial parent it’s capable I’ve taken care of the teen then you can consider allowing the 15-year-old to live with their non-custodial parent.

Chances are the non-custodial parent is not fit or does not want to be responsible for this 15-year-old. 

If they were responsible enough to care for the child the judge would have appointed joint custody rather than sole custody to one parent. 

In some cases, the teen had a stronger bond with one parent and wants to live with them after a divorce.  Or sometimes one parent is less strict than the other and they’d rather be in an environment with less control.

Although I do believe you should take what the teen wants into consideration, at the end of the day it’s really not up to them. The courts have appointed you to be responsible for the teen that includes decisions like where they live.

When Should They Not be Allowed to Live with a Non-Custodial Parent?

There are specific situations in which under no circumstance should a 15-year-old be allowed to live with a non-custodial parent. There is no comprehensive list because every family is different but these are a few of the most common reasons.

  • If there was any kind of physical or sexual abuse to either the teen or the partner. This type of behavior is often repeated and chances are it will repeat after the 15-year-old moves in.
  •  If the non-custodial parent, it’s under extreme financial or work stress.  people under extreme stress tend to fall into depression and/or anxiety. If the non-custodial parent is struggling to take care of themselves they are not able to take care of a teen.
  • If there’s any kind of illicit drug use by the non-custodial parent they should not have children of any age in their care.
  •  Non-custodial parents with a previous criminal record should also not be allowed to house children they’re not legally responsible for.

When Should You Let Your 15-Year-Old Move

In what situations should you let your 15-year-old move in with their other parent. There are very few situations out there and in which it would be okay to let the teen move but they do exist.

The most important thing to consider is are they capable financially, physically, and mentally to take care of this teen.

I’m sure you know, teens are not easy to take care of. This is a very critical time in their life in which a wrong move could ruin a good portion of their life. If a teen were to fall into pitfalls like drugs or dropping out of school, it could take years to get their life back on course.

Not to mention the kind of stress teens experience in high school. For the first time in their lives, things like drugs and alcohol are being exposed to them. Without a strong foundation at home, it is much more likely they are going to cave to these kinds of pressures. 

So ask yourself do you feel confident with your child’s safety and prosperity in the care of their non-custodial parent?

Things to Keep in Mind

  • At the end of the day, the non-custodial parent is not responsible for the 15-year-old, you are. That means any kind of injuries or abuse you will legally be responsible for.
  • The non-custodial parent is not allowed to sign paperwork or documents for the teen. This is a gray area in parental legality and I would recommend consulting a legal professional.
  • There is a good chance that the bad qualities the non-custodial parent had in the past still exist, most people don’t change.
  • The non-custodial parent has limited legal capabilities over the teen so make sure that if you are going to allow your teen to move in, they are still close to you.
  • It is your decision. The teen’s feelings have no legal grounding. Check out this video below for more information.

Final Thoughts

In most cases allowing your 15-year-old to live with a non-custodial parent is not a good idea. That parent has limited rights and there is a reason they don’t have joint custody.

There are circumstances in which a non-custodial parent could be responsible for a teen but at the end of the day, it comes down to your judgment as the legal guardian to this teen.

It is ultimately your responsibility to make the decision of if you think your child’s mental, physical, and academic health would be safer living with their non-custodial parent. In some cases, it might actually be better for the child to let them stay with their other parent. Really assess your situation, their non-custodial parent’s situation, and make the best decision for the teen.