Legal Question in Family Law in Georgia

14 year old wants change of custody

My 14 year old stepson is currently living with his mother and stepfather. He claims that the stepfather ''bullies'' him. We have seen evidence of fear when the stepson was younger, but no evidence of physical abuse. His father and I know that the mother drinks. The stepson wants to change custody from mother to father and live with us. Our home life is very stable, no alcohol, no smoking, no drugs, etc. all of which take place in his current environment. Both my husband and I are very responsibly employed. I have worked in the same field for 26 years. My husbnd is an arson investigator.

Legal custody was granted to the mother 5 years ago. Can the stepson legally decide which parent he wants to live with or do we have to go through attorneys, courts, etc? Questions to law enforcement personnel indicate that after age 14, the child can decide.

Asked on 1/30/06, 9:49 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Charles W. Field Charles W. Field, Attorney at Law

Re: 14 year old wants change of custody

A child 14 or over can make the choice. Consult with a local attorney about filing a petition for change of custody.

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Answered on 2/01/06, 3:32 pm

Glen Ashman Ashman Law Office

Re: 14 year old wants change of custody

Do not let police practice law. They were incorrect and they should not be giving legal advice.

A child age 14 or over does have a rightt o give his opinion in a pending court case. So, in a contested or uncontested custody change, which has to be done in Court, the child can give a preference. The court is not bound by it, but will follow it absent evidence as to reasons why it should not.

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Answered on 1/30/06, 11:19 am

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