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  1. #1

    Default Non-Custodial Parent Wants Our 14 Year Old Daughter to Live with Him

    My question is regarding child custody laws in Virginia:

    My ex and I divorced in February, 2006. We share 3 children: daughter, now 19 and on her own; son 16.5; and our youngest daughter, 14. Twice in the past year, he has tried to convince her that she should come live with him for a year in Arizona. I am the custodial parent, and the custody agreement states that the children reside with me in Virginia. This is enticing for her because he only wants her to come & not my son, so it would be like getting to live a year as an only child. She is a shy girl and other students tease her in school here, so he told her that she should live with him and go to school for a year and kids in the schools there probably wouldn't tease her. We get along well, but I do not feel comfortable with this at all. It's encouraging her to run away from problems instead of facing them head on, among other things. If the shoe was on my foot, I'd want all my kids to come stay for the year-not just one. Our son is sensitive as it is, and I know this would also make him feel like he's being excluded.

    I guess bottom line since I am the custodial/residential parent, do I have to agree to this? I fully support a great relationship between them, but not once in the conversation I had with her did she mention "I'd like to spend more time with dad"...her reasons (which they had discussed on the phone at length before he even decided to clue me in) were that she wanted to go to a school where nobody knew her. The fact that their last name is "Loser" (no, I'm not kidding) doesn't help matter when it comes to the teasing department. All 3 of the kids have dealt with teasing from that since 1st grade. Moving to a school across the country won't change that. Kids are cruel everywhere. Her other reason was that she'd like to be there where her brother isn't. I think consistency is important and separating siblings for a year would distance their already strained relationship.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Non-Custodial Parent Wants Our 14 Year Old Daughter to Live with Him

    No, you do not have to agree.

    If Dad wants to change custody, he has the right to file...but he'd need to show a change in HER circumstances to succeed.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Non-Custodial Parent Wants Our 14 Year Old Daughter to Live with Him

    Thank you for that information. That puts me much more at ease. Last summer I had trouble getting her to agree to come home from their summer visitation because he had promised her a laptop and internet service and much more if she would stay with him for a year. When she did come home and I opened a dialogue on the subject, she said the reason she really considered it was because she thought dad had more money and would buy her more stuff. He promised my son over the Thanksgiving visit that if he came to live with him, he would give him one of his Harley motorcycles but he's 16 and has maintained with his dad that he still does not want to go live there.

    What kind of changes of her circumstances would a judge consider if he does file? There have been no changes in the last 5 years we have been apart and the kids have lived with me.

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    Default Re: Non-Custodial Parent Wants Our 14 Year Old Daughter to Live with Him

    Quote Quoting alicia6266
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    Thank you for that information. That puts me much more at ease. Last summer I had trouble getting her to agree to come home from their summer visitation because he had promised her a laptop and internet service and much more if she would stay with him for a year. When she did come home and I opened a dialogue on the subject, she said the reason she really considered it was because she thought dad had more money and would buy her more stuff. He promised my son over the Thanksgiving visit that if he came to live with him, he would give him one of his Harley motorcycles but he's 16 and has maintained with his dad that he still does not want to go live there.

    What kind of changes of her circumstances would a judge consider if he does file? There have been no changes in the last 5 years we have been apart and the kids have lived with me.

    For example...if you were hospitalized or jailed, that would be a change of circumstance. Or, if your daughter is in therapy and the therapist testifies that her current living situation is too stressful and has a negative impact.

    There is a very informative article right here which discusses the very subject.

    And another great article is here

    Basically, if nothing has changed, kiddo will stay with you.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Non-Custodial Parent Wants Our 14 Year Old Daughter to Live with Him

    Well, at this age, the court may give her a greater say than they would have were she younger, so be prepared for the court to take that into consideration as well. It won't necessarily be a determinative factor, but she's 14 - the court will give her a chance to speak.

    The court will not only look at whether or not there's been a change in circumstances, but also what is in the best interest of the child.

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    Default Re: Non-Custodial Parent Wants Our 14 Year Old Daughter to Live with Him

    Quote Quoting EA1970
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    Well, at this age, the court may give her a greater say than they would have were she younger, so be prepared for the court to take that into consideration as well. It won't necessarily be a determinative factor, but she's 14 - the court will give her a chance to speak.

    The court will not only look at whether or not there's been a change in circumstances, but also what is in the best interest of the child.

    I'll go with "the court MAY give her a chance to speak".

    It's by no means guaranteed

  7. #7

    Default Re: Non-Custodial Parent Wants Our 14 Year Old Daughter to Live with Him

    Well I respect her feelings enough to think she should be allowed to speak too. My only worry is that while he has normally not had them fly out for spring break because he saves his vacation for the summer visit, today he emailed me to say that she wants to go out there for spring break (and of course she has said nothing to me about spring break). No mention of my son going however. Odd.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Non-Custodial Parent Wants Our 14 Year Old Daughter to Live with Him

    From Divorce Source:

    Child Custody: When minor children are involved in a divorce, the Virginia courts will do everything possible to help lessen the emotional trauma the children may be experiencing. If the parents cannot come to an agreement regarding the issues involving the children, the court will establish the custody order at its discretion.

    Custody, whether joint or sole, will be awarded to the father or the mother or both based on the best interests of the children. There are no specific factors considered by the courts, but the following is a list of typical factors taken into consideration when determining a custody arrangement that is best for the children. These factors are, but are not limited to; the age of the children, the health of the children, the wishes of the child(ren), the parental roles of each parent, and the needs of the children. (Virginia Code - Title 20 - Sections: 20-107.2)


    More Information to look at.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Non-Custodial Parent Wants Our 14 Year Old Daughter to Live with Him

    Quote Quoting EA1970
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    Well, at this age, the court may give her a greater say than they would have were she younger, so be prepared for the court to take that into consideration as well. It won't necessarily be a determinative factor, but she's 14 - the court will give her a chance to speak.

    The court will not only look at whether or not there's been a change in circumstances, but also what is in the best interest of the child.
    But the courts won't change custody just "cuz dad can give me more stuff"... it needs to be a good reason. But they will take her wants into CONSIDERATION.

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