I need to know what rights my 16 year old daughter has, if she wants to live with me instead of her mother?

My ex and I both live in the same town, but I work out of town during the week. I live at my parent’s house when I am working. We have joint custody with the ex as primary custody. My 16 year old daughter is extremely unhappy at her mother’s house and is acting out in a number of ways. She wants to come with me and go to school in the town where I stay during the week, but her mother will not allow it. What are my options?

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Typically, a minor child cannot choose which parent they want to live with.  It will be a matter for the court to decide. it will consider many factors: home environment, income and education of the parents, the child's relationship with each parent, reason for wanting the change, etc. 

However, while a child cannot outright choose where they want to live, if they over the age of 12, a child's preference is given consideration and is one of the factors that the court will take into account in making its determination (the older the child, the more weight it is given).

That all having been said, the fact that you travel so extensively will proabaly work against you here. The fact is that it's probably time for you to consult directly with a divorce attorney as to your options.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.