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Ellen, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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My nephew does wants his father to have full custody, and not

Resolved Question:

My nephew does wants his father to have full custody, and not be accountable to his mother who does not take care of him. The nephew is 14. We have been told that it is his decision who he wants to live with at this age. What is the legal procedure?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 6 years ago.

A child cannot choose where he lives until he is 18 however, you can petition to modify the custody arrangement and may be successful based upon the child's age.

Generally speaking child custody/parenting plans can always be modified by the Court based on the best interests of the child. However, grounds for modification must include a change in circumstances that significantly impacts the best interests of the child. A change in the preference of a 14 year old will suffice.

Age is not the only factor that is considered by the court. Typically, the court will take into consideration the maturity of the child and the child's reasons for requesting the change.

I hope that the information which I provided was helpful to you.

Best wishes for a successful outcome. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to submit them to me directly.

Thank you,
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Do you need an attorney to petition to modity custody? My brother does not have the funds that his attorney is requesting ($3000+).


The mother has moved out of state, my nephew is in a program that is helping him with ADHD in the state he lives now and moving would cause harm. She also leads an unstable lifestyle while my brother has a stable home and job.


Thanks for your help and direction.

Expert:  Ellen replied 6 years ago.

an attorney is not required to petition to modify custody. That said, an attorney would be very helpful.If it is not possible for your brother to retain legal counsel, he may copy a template of the required forms at a local law library. Alternatively he may purchase the forms on line. Here is such a site:
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