What to do if I have joint visitation of my son and his mom has legal custody but he wishes to live with me permanently?

He has expressed this to his mother. The reasons he gave (stability and honesty). He is 15. She has been dealing with a difficult situation with her 2nd husband and also had a relationship with a new guy during her marriage, and my son is not willing to deal with the first husband or the new guy. I don’t know how to help him or if I can help him change custody.

Asked on November 12, 2012 under Family Law, Virginia


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your son's preference is not controlling on custody, but it certainly is a factor that the court will take into consideration.  The fact that he is older and can articulate why he has a preference can be persuasive to a judge.  If you want change custody, then you would need to file a motion to modify the prior custody orders.  You are not required to have an attorney, but it will help if you can hire a family law attorney to help file the motion. 

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