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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4782
Experience:  I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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when a child turns 18 can he decide which parent to live w

This answer was rated:

when a child turns 18 can he decide which parent to live with?

texlawyer :

At 18, your son is no longer a minor and may live with whomever he wants.

Customer:

I was told by a someone who workd in the Georgia court system that if he is dependant at 18 custody laws COULD go beyond 18 but not likely. This was new to me. Also at 17 and if he does not want to live with her on a by-weekly basis does he have any legal grounds or avenues HE can take. I have been told he does have a right to decide at the age of 17.

texlawyer :

They can, but only if the child is disabled and unable to make decisions for himself. The child support order can cover things after he turns 18, like college payments, health insurance, etc., but as far as where he lives, once 18 he will be able to decide for himself.

Customer:

Ok. By "they can" do you mean we can pursue this through the legal system here in GA where the divorce was in KY.? My lawyer (KY)did not think she was coming down here so I signed the agreement. He will be 18 August 19th. He does want to visit her but not to live every other weekend. Do we have viable options?

texlawyer :

By "they can" I mean that custody orders can determine where a child lives past their 18th birthday, but only under the limited circumstances I described.

texlawyer :

Your ex could get the custody order changed in Kentucky, and it would affect where you son lives until he turns 18.

texlawyer :

That said, you have to wonder if your wife is willing to go through the expense and hassle of a court ordered split custody for 8 months.

texlawyer :

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is this:

texlawyer :

Your current custody order that is in place controls until it is modified by the court or your son turns 18.

texlawyer :

If it is modified by the court, then that controls until your son tuns 18. Once he turns 18, he can live wherever he wants.

Customer:

I agree with you on that. If it went back to court, the risk is him going back to KY or staying in GA, correct? He has been with me over a year and has visited her over the summer through court ordered visitation guidleines. He is a Jr. in high school now and is on his way to a basketball scholorship at a mid-major school. He gets good grades and is happy here. Since he has been here a year I am wondering what weight that has as to HIS well being. I let them discuss all these things and am hoping the two of them can work it out. My main concern is his happiness. What raises concerns is I have to pay her alimoney and we have already come to the standard financial split of porperty but she has said to him he will have to live here with no cable and will have to shut off certain rooms to heat and air.

texlawyer :

Given those facts, it is unlikely the judge will make him move. At his age, the judge will strongly consider his preference.

texlawyer :

However, that will be up to the judge, but I would doubt he would have to move, especially since he can move back in just 8 months on his own.

Customer:

OK. Can this be pursued down here with a judge in GA? I thought of talking to her about this also but it would get twisted around and it IS between her and Justyn. I cannot just ignore how he feels about this either.

texlawyer :

It will be handled by the judge in Kentucky that originally handled the custody order. You should not ignore how he feels, and an judge won't either.

texlawyer :

I hope that answers your question. If so, please click the ACCEPT button. Good luck.

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