What does the law require be provided to teen-aged children as far as sleeping arrangements on visitations to non-custodial parents?

I have 2 sons (14 and 15) who are being made to sleep on the floor of their 12 year old female cousin’s bedroom when they stay with their father because he lives with his parents (who also house his adult siblings and their children). The boys do not feel comfortable and want it to stop, but they have been told that is the only place available to them. They have no “bedroom”, no “stuff” of their own that stays at their dad’s place, and they always return stinky and dirty because access to washing facilities and/shower is either unavailable or gross. How can I help them change this situation?

Asked on September 15, 2012 under Family Law, Washington


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Interestingly, these situations are generally viewed as the rights of the parents as to the children and the cusotdy arrangement will generally prevail.  But really the children also have rights.  Theirs are probably the most important rights in the situation. They have a right to stay at a safe and clean place that would not cause your chidlren to be distured in going there.  That does not seem to be the case here.  The way to change this sutiation is to ask a Judge to modify the agreement until such time as he mosdifies his living arrangement.  Get legal help.  Good luck.

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