Boy, 14, divorces his mother

  1. Boy, 14, divorces his mother
    By Chris Tinkler
    June 20, 2004
    A 14-YEAR-OLD Melbourne boy has won a divorce from his mother.

    Authorities have granted Peter Lonsdale the split on the grounds of irreconcilable differences.

    He is believed to be the youngest boy in Victoria to divorce his family.
    Peter's distraught mother, Andrea, of Newport, said yesterday she felt betrayed by the saga.

    Peter has won a scholarship to the $1600-a-term Luther College in Croydon.
    He is living with another family near the private school, which he has attended since April last year.

    Mrs Lonsdale, a laboratory technician, said it was ludicrous a boy as young as 14 could divorce his family.

    The divorce was granted after counselling of the parties failed.
    Mrs Lonsdale said she had experienced difficulties with Peter, including his starting a fire in his room and applying graffiti to the walls of the family home.

    She said she had hoped Peter would not leave the family - herself, stepfather Philip Lonsdale and three siblings - even though he had often been uncontrollable.

    Mrs Lonsdale claimed her son had been encouraged by people around him to seek the divorce.

    "If I had let Peter do everything he wanted, including staying out until 11pm, this would not have happened," she said. "We have always tried to be fair. I wonder where we have gone wrong.

    "I may never see my son again. I'm not going to get Peter back and I miss him.

    "If he falls out with the family where he is staying, he will have nowhere to go. I really worry about it."

    Peter, who has become a house captain, top student and keen footballer at Luther College, said he had chosen to divorce his mother because he could no longer live at home.

    "I still love her heaps and want to keep in contact with her," he said.
    "It is probably a bad decision, but I don't think I could live with her for a long period.

    "I was very challenging. I pushed mum too far most of the time. She was pretty strict, but she never did anything to hurt me for the sake of hurting me.

    "The main reason I had to go through with this was to give us space and get the relationship stronger.

    "The environment here is great, but the people will never be my parents.
    "To miss out on something that big is the biggest emotional harm I'll have.
    "I just couldn't live there - school was rubbish, everything was rubbish and that made home rubbish."

    Peter said he had been advised by authorities he could ask for a divorce.
    State Opposition community services spokeswoman Helen Shardey said she was appalled a child had been advised how to divorce his mother.

    "It is sad any child of 14 takes such a drastic action," she said.

    "I would hope the authorities will ensure he has a relationship with his family, working towards reconciliation."

    Parents Lobbying Empowerment Against Systematic Exclusion called for child divorces to be outlawed.

    Its president, Joan Strohfeldt, said she was appalled authorities would support a child to divorce his family.

    "It is the ultimate smack in the face," she said.

    Family lawyer Elizabeth Dowling said it was rare for children to leave their families because of irreconcilable differences.

    But Ms Dowling, a partner in Jones Dowling McGregor, said divorces were necessary because they protected children, especially those in minority groups.

    She said a girl raised in a religious sect might not share her parents' views and divorce would be the only way she could leave a situation intolerable to her. Divorces also could be an escape for homosexual children whose parents refused to accept them.,00.html
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   leslie :-D
    this is unconsciounable. what teenager doesn't feel angst? maybe i should let my children know that if they don't like it, divorce me.... :angryfire

    we are not even talking about abusive parenting here. this blows my mind.
  4. by   susanna
    divorce???? i thouhgt that the proper word was disown: you don't like your parents, you disown them....your parents don't like you, they disown you, right?

    Since when do you and your parents get a divorce just because you don't want to live with each other? Couldn't you just not live with each other?

    MAybe there's more thats not being said. Like, he was forbidden to take his scholarship and move away unless he got a divorce. That would make this article more understandable.

    Otherwise, ????????? An Aussies here to explain?
  5. by   Rustyhammer
    You can do that?
    If I knew that when I was 14 I probably would have gone for it. As it was my folks were strong and didn't yield to my antics. (I'm glad they didn't.)
  6. by   IMustBeCrazy
    As sad as this situation seems, it sounds like it will be a good wakeup call for the boy. Sad for his parents, though. Apparently he needs to have the responsibilities and realities of 'real life' bonk him over the head a few times. I suspect he will begin feeling a change of heart over his ill-thought-out decision in a year or two. About the time when his 'new family' begins to get sick of his egocentrism and starts telling him 'no'.
    Last edit by IMustBeCrazy on Jun 23, '04 : Reason: typo
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It's a cold, tough world out there, as I found out at 18. I can't imagine what it may do to a 14-year-old, chewed up and spit out by a few users out there. Will be a tough lesson. But what person at 14 or even 18 does not think he/she KNOWS IT ALL?
  8. by   Chaya
    What fourteen-year old wouldn't divorce his parents? Sound like he's got a pretty cushy situation to fall back on, instead of learning to deal with and overcome his difficulties like every other kid has to.
  9. by   Rhoresmith
    This is kinda scary really it just opens up so many problems for parents, be what the child calls to strict and POOF I will divorce you. Just one more way control is taken from parents to raise their children. I don't mean that you beat the crap out of them but when teenagers know they can do this stuff in their minds (what is left of them at that age the mind does weird things)then they will. SCARY SCARY stuff