Can a 15 year old modify custody agreements without the consent of both parents?

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Can a 15 year old modify custody agreements without the consent of both parents?

As a 15 year old child, how much power am I given by the courts to choose which parent has custody? My parents have been divorced for 10+ years and I alternate weeks at each parent’s house (e.g. week 1 is dad’s, week 2 is mom, repeat).The situation at my mother’s is not abusive, but I am very uncomfortable with her usage of alcohol and she is often not at home. My other household is far more stable and is the full-time home of my half-brothers whom I’d like to help raise. In a nutshell, how much influence do I have if I wanted to legally change custody to my father?

Asked on May 3, 2012 under Family Law, Maryland

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your question is very mature for a child of your age and very well thought out.  A child of your age would be heard by a Judge as to where you wish to reside on a permanenet basis and the judge would weigh your testimony in his or her ruling.  You seem to understand that it is about more of a stable and nurturing environment and not that you want to live with your Dad becuase your Mom is too "strict" or "won't let me hang ot with my friends."   But you have to understand that your Father must initiate the proceeding if your Mother will not voluntarily agree.  Good luck.


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