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  1. #1
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    Jun 2011
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    Default 14 Year Old's Rights in a Custody Case

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Illinois My ex wife has sole custody of our 14 year old daughter. My daughter is at my house often and has friends here. She wishes to move in with me and go to High School here. Her mom says no. What are her rights at 14 for choosing wher she lives and what can I do to get the process rolling?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: 14 Year Old Rights

    Your 14 year old does not get to choose. If her mom agreed it would be different, but as it stands, the likelihood of you having custody changed based on what you have posted a slim.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 14 Year Old Rights

    Concur with Neal. A 14 year-old has only the rights that her custodial parent grants her - until children reach the age of majority, they are under the full care and control of their parents.

    Unless there is a significant change in the child's circumstances such that it would be in her best interests to move in with you, there is little chance that the custody order would be modified.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
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  4. #4
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    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: 14 Year Old Rights

    Quote Quoting LawResearcherMissy
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    Concur with Neal. A 14 year-old has only the rights that her custodial parent grants her - until children reach the age of majority, they are under the full care and control of their parents.

    Unless there is a significant change in the child's circumstances such that it would be in her best interests to move in with you, there is little chance that the custody order would be modified.
    Totally depends on the state.

    In West Virgina, for instance, a court must consider a 14 yo's preferences. Only if the 14 yo's preference would not be in the best interest of the 14 yo can a court not honor them.

    Moreover, in West Virginia, it is not just a change of circumstances of the child that can trigger a change in residence, a change in circumstance of the parent can also trigger a change in residence.

    Now he is in Illinois, not West Virginia, but my question is are you just giving out a general opinion as to how it works in most states or is this specific to Illinois?

    This exact same question was asked by someone with kids in West Virginia and people posted about the general rule ignoring the specifics of West Virginia's laws. I haven't researched it for Illinois, so I don't know and I am just pointing this out to make sure people are taking into account the particular state.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 14 Year Old Rights

    It was also pointed out that much of the information Harriet provided simply would not apply to the OP.

    But, rather than turn this once again into a WV thread, let's concentrate on Illinois - and yes, Missy is absolutely correct.

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  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: 14 Year Old Rights

    Quote Quoting Harriet
    View Post
    Totally depends on the state.

    In West Virgina, for instance, a court must consider a 14 yo's preferences. Only if the 14 yo's preference would not be in the best interest of the 14 yo can a court not honor them.

    Moreover, in West Virginia, it is not just a change of circumstances of the child that can trigger a change in residence, a change in circumstance of the parent can also trigger a change in residence.

    Now he is in Illinois, not West Virginia, but my question is are you just giving out a general opinion as to how it works in most states or is this specific to Illinois?

    This exact same question was asked by someone with kids in West Virginia and people posted about the general rule ignoring the specifics of West Virginia's laws. I haven't researched it for Illinois, so I don't know and I am just pointing this out to make sure people are taking into account the particular state.
    Awesome. Thanks for the completely useless post.

    In the meantime, please post the exact statute that requires a judge to allow the child to dictate with whom they live.

    Thanks.
    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
    - Mark Twain

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 14 Year Old Rights

    In West Virgina, for instance, a court must consider a 14 yo's preferences.
    We aren't talking about West Virginia. Do you have anything useful to add about the law in the OP's state of residence?

    I haven't researched it for Illinois, so I don't know
    ...ah, I see that you don't. Carry on.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  8. #8
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: 14 Year Old Rights

    Quote Quoting LawResearcherMissy
    View Post
    We aren't talking about West Virginia. Do you have anything useful to add about the law in the OP's state of residence?



    ...ah, I see that you don't. Carry on.
    Missy, do YOU know the statute in WV that requires a judge to do what a 14 year old tells them to do?
    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
    - Mark Twain

  9. #9
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: 14 Year Old Rights

    I am unaware of ANY state that requires a Judge or Magistrate to bow to the whims of a teenager.

    Many will CONSIDER the wishes of the teenager during the original custody hearing - Illinois, too - but all of them award custody based on the best interests of the child, and I'm unaware of any that modify custody based on the teenager deciding that she doesn't like the original order any more.

    Everything still turns on what the court finds to be in the best interests of the child, regardless of the child's wishes.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  10. #10
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: 14 Year Old Rights

    See Harriet's post history.

    While s/he/it did actually post the WV statute which does include certain verbiage regarding a 14 year old's wishes - it simply didn't apply to the OP, and s/he/it couldn't seem to grasp why it wasn't relevant. False hope was given to the OP, and that's really not acceptable.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

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