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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default My 16 Year Old Daughter Wants to Live with Me Instead of Her Mom

    My ex-wife and I have joint custody and she's the custodial parent. We both live in Utah. I regularly see me children once a week. My oldest daughter, 16, has wanted to live with me for a few years but hasn't pressed the issue to avoid hurting mom's feelings. Now, however, that's becoming less of an issue because of the way that she claims her mother is treating. I would be more than happy to have her live with me but I have no intention of forcing her mother to surrender her. I realize that judges prefer these matters to be handled between the parents and I don't believe it's unrealistic for my daughter to seek such a change but I wish to remain within the boundaries of the law. My daughter doesn't qualify for emancipation. I haven't witnessed anything to suggest that the mother is abusive or neglectful despite what my daughter may suggest; I believe she may be embellishing her stories a bit because her siblings are unable or unwilling to corroborate her claims.

    Returning to court to alter the custody agreement would be the last thing I would want to do. I wouldn't expect a judge to make a change unless he/she strongly considers my daughter's desire in this matter. I'm cautious about interrupting the status quo or doing anything incredibly foolish because my ex has been quite reasonable with me thus far.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    27,497

    Default Re: My 16 Year Old Daughter Wants to Live with Me Instead of Her Mom

    You would need to show a significant change in circumstance before you could actually petition for a change in custody, and then the court must decide that modifying custody would be in the minor's best interest.

    There are one or two states which do either allow a minor of a certain age to initiate proceedings themselves, or allow "aging up" as a change of circumstance; unfortunately yours isn't one.

    So unless Mom agrees to kiddo living with you, it's not likely to happen until she's of age and can move out of her own accord. Help your daughter understand that she only has a couple of years to go. Obviously if there is actually neglect or abuse taking place, the answer might be different.

    But I suspect if that was the case, child services would have been involved before now.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3

    Default Re: My 16 Year Old Daughter Wants to Live with Me Instead of Her Mom

    I don't know much about this, but you and your ex seem to have an amazingly amicable relationship.

    Would it be a problem for you to discuss this with your Ex and see what concessions she is willing to make. Maybe something temporary like, one week on one week off, or something like that.

    For my education, would a temporary change of this type require a court order, or could the parents make such a modification between them in a notorized dovument.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: My 16 Year Old Daughter Wants to Live with Me Instead of Her Mom

    A notarized document is worth as much as the paper it's written on - it is not enforceable in court.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  5. #5

    Default Re: My 16 Year Old Daughter Wants to Live with Me Instead of Her Mom

    Both parents can make an agreement and get it notarized but it has to be put in a final order by a judge. My ex and I did that when I moved away and a judge attached an order to our agreement that made it binding.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: My 16 Year Old Daughter Wants to Live with Me Instead of Her Mom

    That's my point.

    A notarized document won't stand up alone.

    It must go to court.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7

    Default Re: My 16 Year Old Daughter Wants to Live with Me Instead of Her Mom

    So if they wanted to do that for like 2 or 3 months, would they still need to go to court. I'm thinking this sounds very amicable and if it's for only up to 3 months, wouldn't it take about that long to get to court anyway. Maybe the child just needs a 2-4 week vacation from mom.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: My 16 Year Old Daughter Wants to Live with Me Instead of Her Mom

    I'm sure Mom would appreciate it, too

    The problem is, OP said nothing about it being temporary. Kiddo has expressed her wishes to live with Dad for several years, so we can only assume based upon OP's post that he would be seeking a change in custody that would allow kiddo to change schools if necessary and all that other fun stuff. Mom might agree to letting go informally for 2 months during the summer, for example - but what then?

    Mom changes her mind and kiddo is back with Mom.

    Unfortunately I don't see an easy answer to this one. Specially if Mom realizes that she'll likely end up paying child support (or at least losing some of what Dad pays).

    (Money is sadly so often a factor )
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

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