Does 13 year old have a choice of who she wants to live with?

Carol - posted on 07/20/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have a 13 year old SD who my husband has joint custody of with her maternal grandmother. She has spent the summer at our house as well as every other weekend & every school break with us for the last 5-6 years. She has recently said that she wishes to stay with us & only visit the grandmother. My husband has mentioned this to the grandmother, but she is not in agreement with her living with us. My husband has filed for full custody of his daughter, but it's not looking good because of a jurisdictional issue. Is there anyway my SD can make the decision without us having to go to court? I should also mention that my step-daughter has some developmental delays. Does that factor in with what she wants? Ideas, please.

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Carol - posted on 07/20/2012

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Thanks girls for your input. My husband already has an attorney & the major problem is the order giving him Joint came from a different state we all live in now. He has tried & the courts in the original state will not give up jurisdiction. His attorney is working on trying to get our state to hear it but so far not sure that it will do any good. Just trying to determine if other than court, are there options. I know that when my husband got Joint custody, the court never said who would be residential parent etc. That might be something to work with.

Dove - posted on 07/20/2012

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Your husband has to go to court if the grandmother has joint custody and won't budge, but your SD's feelings 'should' be taken into consideration with the judge. His best plan is to speak to a lawyer in your area since he/she will know how it works in your area and could be given all the specifics to your particular case.

Louise - posted on 07/20/2012

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Normally the paternal parent would get full custody in this case. The only way to get custody if to go to court and ask the judge to speak to the girl in private to express her wishes. She will have a major influence here. Seek legal advice first to see if this is possible because the father may appeal this as she has developmental delays. This is very complicated and it is important you get it right. Seek advice.

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