Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.
I certainly understand the situation your grandchild is going through. In child custody cases, the child, at 16 years of age, does have a right to decide which parent they want to live with. However, the final decision is always with the Judge, who will basis the decision on the best interest of the child. Since the mother currently has custody of the child, you or the Aunt, would first need to petition the court to gain custody of her, for her to be able to speak with the Judge and advise him/her, to the fact that she wants to live with you and what the reasons are. Even though this is not an issue with custody and the parents and involves the mother and another family member, the Judge will still consider her age of 16 and decision, when deciding. Everything you stated above would be something for the Judge to consider but the mother can certainly object and oppose the change of custody. If the mother contests this and will not agree, you and her aunt, as well as the child would all have to present mitigating factors, to show that it is in her best interest to live with you. At the same time, the Judge will certainly listen and respect the rights and wishes of the mother, before taking her rights to the child, away. The child's decision is only one of many factors for the court to consider and it will carry weight with the Judge but it is not going to be the only thing which the court relys on, in making the decision.
Please let me know if you have any follow up questions orneed any clarification on something which I stated above, prior to rating me. Also, please remember to rate my service with3, 4, or 5 faces/stars, before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for myhelp. I hope you found it to beExcellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100%satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two faces/stars on theleft, please STOP and reply to me via the "REPLY TO EXPERT or CONTINUECONVERSATION "button. I wantto make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible andthat you are satisfied with the help I provided.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).