Is it legal for me to live with my grandparents before custody papers are signed?

I’m 17 and my mother is giving up custody of me to my grandparents. Is it legal to live with them before the papers are signed? My mother is emotionally abusive and I really can’t take it much longer.

Asked on November 4, 2011 under Family Law, West Virginia


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It may not be legal in the sense that the court has not blessed the custody papers or having it finalized, but if your mother is in agreement for you to go, then there should be no problem. If your mother emotionally abuses you and your grandmother is planning on taking you, then have your grandmother talk to your mother about going early. If you wish, you can certainly try to get the court system involved, but please understand this is only really going to be an issue for just about another year. At that point, you will be 18 and can live with whomever you choose, including going away to college.  

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