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The Remarried Life

Aug 14, 2018

Brian Mayer talks the issue of a teenager saying they don’t want to live under your roof any longer and that they want to live with the other parent.  This happens with a great number of teenagers who are living in blended families for one reason or another.  Even though it is extremely common for this issue to come up, it still doesn’t make it any harder.  We will tackle this issue today with some helpful tips to keep your sanity during something this difficult.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at

Today's Goodies

  • There is a myth the children between the ages of 12-14 can make the decision of who to live with and decide to switch.  Ultimately however that decision rests with the court system and a judge.  Of course they will take into account the child’s age, but there are so many other
  • Factors that courts use to determine change in custody also include.  Other factors include each parent’s mental state, other support, how amicable the each parent is toward each other, and many other factors. 
  • So switching may not be as easy as it sounds, but it does happen frequently.  When this does happen especially if you are on the “losing” end, then it can certainly feel quite devastating.  The emotional pain from this depending on what has led to this decision can be difficult to overcome. 
  • It is especially difficult if the child expresses negativity over the home, the family unit, a stepparent, or some other piece about the current home life. 
  • Sometimes, the other parent can often feed into a child’s insecurities or anxiety over the other parent’s home thereby hastening a child leaving. 
  • Aside from the legal ramifications or protections you might seek, there are certain things you should be mindful of when this is happening and that is what our focus is on today. 
  • This is not your fault.  I don’t even know you, but I can say that probably 95% of the time, there is a not parent at fault for why a change is being requested.  Now you certainly might be made to feel that way, but do not buy into this probable lie. 
  • As difficult as it is, explaining to the child that is making the decision to leave that you support their decision (assuming you are not against it completely or believe it is truly not in the best interest of the child) is really the best course of action.  It is almost as if you are making the choice to take the higher ground.    
  • Get support from your partner (spouse) on this issue.  The most important thing through all of this is to come together as a couple. If you approach this from the mentality that you and your spouse will be together forever, then you may begin to see that the loss of the child to the other parent may not be as big of an issue as you thought (still very difficult nonetheless).
  • If your child will allow (assuming emotion is not playing a role), talk through a list of pros and cons about this change.  Let the intent here not be that you are prepping the child to change his/her mind but that you are laying everything out so that everyone is well informed.  However, this is difficult because a child and especially a teenager will operate with the emotional part of the brain more often than the logical part.         
  • Be empathetic about the child’s plight.  Most likely they don’t want to upset either parent.  They will often feel caught in the middle of an already difficult situation. 
  • Do not tear the other parent down to your child.  You may feel justified based on what is going on and maybe the other parent is tearing you down to your child.  In the long run if you avoid this, your child will be thankful later in life. 
  • I went through this situation when I was a child and it was extremely difficult.  My mother had primary custody of me, and at some point my father asked me about switching.  This was extremely difficult on me at around the age of 14 I believe.  I was a people pleaser (and still struggle with this to some degree).  I ended up letting both of my parents down for a time.  I originally said yes to the switch and then ultimately in a court with some sort of referee asking me questions with no one else around, I said that I did not want to switch.  I can’t even imagine what great difficulty I placed my parents in, but of course I was 14 with a brain not fully formed yet. 
  • Utimately be very careful as you move through these waters.  It can be highly charged and emotional.  Make sure you take care of yourself through this difficult time but making sure to still have fun and make life fun for your remaining family.   
  • One last thing, if you need legal help then you should certainly seek it.  If you feel at all like something would be wrong with this switch then you certainly should fight for what you want.  But again be careful not to do this from a place of anger that you regret later.   



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