I have been with my hubby for 11 years, since his son was 4. I have seen a gradual change in thoughts of his mother over the years to the point now where he says he would be quite happy if he never speaks to her again. A bit of history ... There are consent orders in place between my hubby and his son's mother for their son. It has been in place since 2009, with 70% custody for the mother, 30% for the father. Over the years, the son has wanted more and more to stay with us over his mother, and although the order is in place when she has had enough of him or his "attitude" she sends him to us. Although the order is in place, she has allowed week on week off visitation in the past, only to go nuts over something petty and force their son to stay with her and strictly abiding by the order once again so she has control. Almost 2 years ago, the son's mother kicked him out of her home and told him she didn't want him back. He lived with us and we advised child support of the change in care. It took about a month and she started to try to coax him back. He initially refused and she got the cops involved, which they told us he has to return to her due to the orders being in place. We tried to organise mediation for the dad and mum in an attempt to get an official change of order to be agreed on. She refused to attend mediation and we got a certificate to go to family court. She called us and said she would allow 50/50 but didn't want to go to court to change it officially. My hubby agreed as we didn't have the money to go to family court and it helped his son from getting away from his mother for half of the time. It stayed that way until December last year when he started living with us and he got his first casual job (he still goes to school). It was more convenient for her for him to stay with us so we could drive him to and from work. The son had been living with us for about 6 months and is going to stay with his mother for a few days at a time every 2-3 weeks. A few weeks ago, his mother cracked it again and said we weren't being strict enough and she was going back to the order again and forcing him to stay with her. The son came back to us again Monday last week, (convenient for her as he told her he is on call for work). He said he doesn't want to go back to mum's again. He is sick of her overly controlling and irrational behaviour, even stating to him she said she was forcing him to stay with her as punishment! We do not collect any benefits from the government for him and as order is still in place, no doubt she is probably collecting everything she can as that is the sort of person she seems to be. I am aware that we can apply to have the order dropped / changed but it will cost thousands and the son's mother will fight it and is probably able to get Legal Aid where we won't be able to. Is there an avenue that we can take where the son can have his own say to have this order dropped (it doesn't appear to have an expiry), as his mother uses this to keep control when she feels necessary? The son will be 15 in a few months and is thinking the only way is to move out of the home so she can't control him any more. We are just waiting for the next time she decides to force him to go back there. What can we or my stepson do?