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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2

    Exclamation Legal Rights of 17-Year-Old in a Custody Case

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Texas

    I'll keep this short and sweet: Since 2002 I have been ordered into the primary custody of my mother and secondary custody with my father. My father is verbally abusive and his home is a toxic environment for my brother and I to live in.

    I was wondering what the legal rights of a 17-year-old are in this case.

    Emancipation, I know, is out of the question. At 14 I know a child can choose whom he (my brother) lives with primarily, but at 17 I am unsure if I can refuse vistation; or if there was some sort of due process to remove myself from his home permanently. My mother, brother, maternal family, and paternal family are all behind me on this.

    Please help me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    25,222

    Default Re: Legal Rights of 17-Year-Old

    Your mother can petition the court if she feels that she can prove visiting with your father is detrimental to your wellbeing.

    Outside of that, you're stuck until you're 18.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Legal Rights of 17-Year-Old

    Thanks for all the help

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    16,119

    Default Re: Legal Rights of 17-Year-Old

    At 14 I know a child can choose whom he (my brother) lives with primarily

    Excuse me? No, child, a 14 year old does not have the legal right of choosing where s/he lives. A judge *may* take your wishes into consideration, but your choice is NOT legally binding on the court.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    25,222

    Default Re: Legal Rights of 17-Year-Old

    Psst...in Texas, the minor (as young as 12) can effectively choose during the initial custody determination by filing an affidavit of preference.

    Texas evidently doesn't think parents can figure out "best interest"

    153.008. CHILD'S PREFERENCE OF PERSON TO DESIGNATE
    RESIDENCE.

    A child 12 years of age or older may file with the court
    in writing the name of the person who is the child's preference to
    have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the
    child, subject to the approval of the court.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    16,119

    Default Re: Legal Rights of 17-Year-Old

    Thanks, Doggie. However, this does not sound as if it's the initial determination in the first place, and in the second place there's still that pesky little "subject to the approval of the court" deal, y'know?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    25,222

    Default Re: Legal Rights of 17-Year-Old

    And now I'm going to eat a huge crow pie.

    After re-reading the actual statute, that also applies to modification. Both OP and his brother can initiate proceedings. At 17, it's unlikely the court would rule against the 17 year old's petition - but the bigger problem there is timing. It's entirely possible that the 17 year old at least will have aged out by the time it gets to court.

    But the 14 year old? Have Mom speak with a local attorney who is familiar with a) teens stating their preference to the court, and b) how local judges tend to rule.

    Signed,

    Humbly Eating Crow.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

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