I have a sixteen year old daughter who wants to come live me. Her father and I share joint custody but he has physical custody. According to our papers; she is to reside with him but for thirteen years now she has lived with his mother. What can I do?
2 Answers from Attorneys
You should file a modification of custody, seeking primary physical custody of your daughter. If she is 16, she can sign an affidavit of her intentions, and the Judge will have to consider her wishes so long as you are not proven to be unfit as a parent. This should be a fairly simple case, but can be made complicated if opposed vigorously, so make sure to sit down with an attorney to get your ducks in a row.
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To change custody you would have to file a case, and you should get a lawyer, to modify custody. A 16 year old can express her wishes in the case, which will help you. Still, a court has to decide visitation and support, and that may be easy or hard depending on the other parent agreeing or not.
Now some bad news - if you court order said you should have been paying child support for the past 13 years and you didn't because you had the child, that money is still owed and gives the father leverage.
I'm located south of Atlanta and do handle cases in your area so feel free to call me at 404-768-3509.