If my daughter’s father and I have joint custody but she no longer wants to live with me, can I legally make her come to my house on the days that were determined in court?

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If my daughter’s father and I have joint custody but she no longer wants to live with me, can I legally make her come to my house on the days that were determined in court?

A month ago my daughter (age 13) got in an argument with my husband and myself. She says she doesn’t want to live me as long as I am married. She is staying with her dad who lives up the street from me and I try to contact her via the phone and text messaging. She says she doesn’t want to talk to me unless I get a divorce. Her father is saying he is going to take me back to court to get full custody. Can he get full custody if she says she doesn’t want to live with me and since I have joint custody now?

Asked on November 7, 2012 under Family Law, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Technically, as long as the custody order is in place, your daughter is legally required to comply with it. However, as an practical matter, making a 13 year old do something that they don't want to is easier said than done. Further, if the court finds that it is in her best interests to sty full-time her father, then the custody order can be modified to so reflect. Additionally, while a minor child cannot decide outright with which parent they want to live, the older they are the more weight a judge will give to their preference. 


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