If I’m deployed, can my 17 year-old son choose to live with my sister due to abuse while in his grandmother’s care?

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If I’m deployed, can my 17 year-old son choose to live with my sister due to abuse while in his grandmother’s care?

My son has been being verbally and physically abused by his grandmother. He has since then moved with my sister who is caring for my other 2 children while I’m serving in Iraq. Is my son allowed to do so or will I need to go to court? I recently found out that the joint custody I was granted in 2002 during my divorce was changed. Because of a secret hearing my ex-husband and his mother had in 2006. I never knew about this nor was I ever contacted about any court date or hearing. I can’t understand how this was done without my knowing when I’m his mother and was initially granted joint custody.

Asked on April 22, 2011 under Family Law, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I beg you to please get legal help with all of this BEFORE you are deployed.  If the custody agreement was changed without your right to be heard on the matter then you need to challenge that ruling.  You need to go to court to have your son live with your sister.  You need to establish that it is NOT in the "best interest of your child(ren)" to reside with your husband's Mother.  Because of the age of your son he will be able to testify at the proceeding.  He needs to be specific about the abuse and focus on those issues. He can not wish to live with your sister because she is more lenient and lets him stay out later.  Do you get my drift?  Please get help.  Good luck and thank you for serving our country. 


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