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Question
Posted by: | 2015/04/10

How do I get my child back?

My 13 year old daughter recently moved in with her dad (she has lived with me for the past 12 years). Her dad and I were never married. She is doing poorly at school now (failed her first term) and I'm genuinely worried about her under his care as they are 7 people living in a 3 bedroom apartment. I let her go to her dad, as I was afraid of having a rebellious and resentful teenager, but now I am truly regretting my decision. We have never been to Court regarding guardianship or maintenance, we both contribute equally to her needs (but regularly argue about this). How do I go about getting her back home with me legally and instilling a Court Order regarding maintenance?

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Posted by: GDad | 2015/05/06

Interesting response. I suggest that you read this story below: A boy at the time was in in primary school, lived with mother in Cape Town, father lived in JHB, I am not sure when exactly his parents got divorced, but I knew him since pre-school. The problem his mother remarry, his father remarry, he turned into a rebel, hated his mothers new husband, after months if not years of treatment by a psychologist the mother eventually realize she cannot cope with him and he was getting worse, she agreed to let him live with his father, well it start off well, he and the mother started to bond again, but he could not stand her husband and believe it or not could not stand his fathers wife, eventually moved in with a friend's parents back in Cape Town, I have seen this kid a few years ago, a different person, I could not believe that was the rebel, that started using drugs in primary school, now this well mannered person. From what I read, you are in a similar position as this mother, initially she was so scared to loose custody, eventually realized she lost her son and the only way was to act in his best interest, he believed the grass was greener at his fathers, she let him live with his father, the bond between them got better, her son would have been a drug attic if she did not do something, beside the hate he would have had for her. It could unhealthy for the kid to live in an apartment with 7 people, but depends on the living conditions as well as her mental needs, if you start a tug of war it might do more harm than good, rather find a compromise, look her living conditions like do she have her own bed, do she share the room with a couple, try and get her to live a week with you and the next with her father. Unless you can proof that living with her father is not in her best interest and harmful, fighting over her could cause serious problems.

Reply to GDad
Posted by: Anonymous | 2015/04/13

Hi i have no answers but would strongly recommend you get her back. I allowed my son to move in with his dad at 14 as he was getting rebellious and his dad was instigating the move. at 18 my son moved backed home, a battered and emotionally destroyed young man. I am now helping him to pick up the pieces and build a future for himself. please, go the legal route, get social workers involved. if you dont think the move is best for her, do something about it. i wouldve rather had my son hate me than allow him to move. my son now explains to me that i should never have allowed him to go. he regrets his decision and feels he wasnt mature to make such a decision.it is difficult to undo the damage now but we are trying.

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