Question: Dear Luise: I am a 39 year old mother with 2 teenagers 16 and 14. I have been remarried for 12 years. One weekend when my son turned 14 (now 16) his father did not return him from the visitation. The 16 year old is a boy who left us to live with his father 2 years ago. Obviously, we are divorced. My side of the family has not seen my son in 2 years. He sends me birthday, Mothers Day and Christmas cards. That is it!!! We see him on Facebook but he never returns a message. My 14 Fyear old daughter would love to have a relationship with her brother as would we. We have all been devastated by this change of events in our lives especially my mom & dad. What can we do (if anything) to mend our relationship with our son & grandson? A.
Answer: Dear A.: If your son is sending cards to you…that’s something. Do you have any idea if that is voluntary and he is choosing to do so? If he doesn’t want to return or is being coerced into not coming to visit you, I don’t know what you can do. He knows you love him. He knows his sister misses him. He knows your address and probably, by now, he drives. His not returning your messages on Facebook says a lot, doesn’t it?
You can talk with an attorney about what your rights are. Obviously you had custody and it has not been honored for the last two years. However, your holding a teenage against his will, especially if he has his dad on his side, is no small task. A judge might say that you should have taken action sooner and by not doing so, you were silently agreeing to the change.
Have you made it clear that you want visitation and have that right? Is it your son who refuses? As stated above, I think a lawyer is the one to look into this to determine your options, if any. It seems so final for him to disappear from your life like that. You deserved to be in on the decision and the terms. Blessings, Luise