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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 99465
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I have 14 year old twin sons. One wishes to live with me.

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I have 14 year old twin sons. One wishes to live with me. The other wants to stay with his mother. We have a custody agreement that is 13 years old but other than the child support part of that agreement we have never follwed it. If one son wants to live with me does this mean I need to petition the court to grant?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me if you want him to remain with you, or, you are willing to let him go to his mother? Or have you already done so?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We have a custody agreement. 50/50 codomiciliary. 2 weeks with me 2 weeks with her. I pay her $250 a month child support. The boys lived with me from the age of 1-5. At 5 I sent them to live with her because she lives in a better school district. The verbal agreement was they would stay with her until I moved to a better district. When I did she wouldn't let them come live with me because they had been with her for 3 years or so. Then I moved overseas to work so I could save for their college educations. They are now 14 and in 9th grade.


I want the one son that wants to live with me to live with me. The one that doesn't want to live with me can stay with his mom. I'd like to continue working overseas for 3 more years and want him to come with me once I change locations. If I come home and work I want him to live with me and my wife there.


Can he and I go to an attorney and peition the court for him to live with me and to alter the custody agreement?

I don't know which way to go with this. My child support is so low that I think it would cost me more in legal fees than the next 4 years of child support. That isn't really the issue. I just want my sons with me. At least the one that wants to be with me.

Thank you.

It is not unusual for parents to go off their assigned custody. People do this all the time. However, here is the problem:

1) If you do this, then she can always backtrack and demand to go back to the original, written custody order. Informal agreements are overridden by custody orders from the court; and
2) If you do this informally, then the child support matter may be skewed. You would be paying a different amount, but who knows what she would claim later on if she demands that the original custody order be reinstated. You may find yourself owing arrears for phantom time that she supposedly spent with the children. Exs do this all the time.

So the lesson is avoid informal custody/support arrangements like the Plague, because it can turn very ugly very fast.

So what is the solution? File in Court to modify the arrangement. It sounds like everyone is in agreement. The Court is not going to deny a request to modify custody if both parents are in agreement, normally. While it acts "in the best interest of the child," 98% of the time, the Judge happily signs off on anything provided that both parents agree.

So someone in your situation may wish to file a modification of custody, have it signed by the Court on an uncontested docket hearing time (a few times a week for every court, normally), and can have this done in a week. Once this is done, and the official custody order reflects the new custody and support arrangement, then it should not be an issue.

Best of luck.

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