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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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My daughter is 17 and turns 18 in Aug 2010. Her father and

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My daughter is 17 and turns 18 in Aug 2010. Her father and I were divorced in AR in 1996. I live in Missour and he lives in NJ. Both of us are active duty military. I am deploying an my daughter wants to go live with some friends in NJ not 2 miles from her father. He father does not want her to live with him because my daughter and her step mother do not get along. I have full custody and he has visitation rights. Can I legally let her go live with her friends family without her fathers approval? He does NOT want her to live with her friends or be emancipated!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 7 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

Your daughter's father does not want her living with him--yet he doesn't want her living with friends or become emancipated? Seriously, where does he expect her to live while you deploy--in a foster home? Is the father legally insane, or just on a power trip?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He is on a power trip and whatever he says goes! He wants her to stay here in my home with my husband until she turns 18. She lived with him in NJ for 2 1/2 year until Feb 09 when she and her stepmother got into a huge fight and her stepmother sent her back to me because "she couldn't handle my daughter". My daughter is a very loving, respectful straight A student. I feel she just wants my daughters father to herself. The only reason I let her move there in the first place because her father never had anything to do with her until she turned 14 and wanted to get to "know" her. I thought I was doing the right thing but took legal provisions to retain full custody while she lived there.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 7 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

First of all, thank you for serving our country.

Yours is a precarious position, because your husband has no legal right to custody and control over your daughter. And while you may have primary residential custody, your ex no doubt has shared legal custody.

While he can not force your daughter to live with your husband while you are deployed, he could force her to live with him and his wife--out of shear belligerence.

I'd suggest that you might tell him that he has two choices. He can either allow her to stay with the friends, or he can take her in. That might force him to capitulate to your way of thinking.

Alternatively, the fact is that if she doesn't tell him that she is there, perhaps he won't find out.

The reality is that regardless of what you might do, he can always go to the court and demand custody while you are deployed, and as the natural parent, the court would grant it.

If she were my daughter, I'd tell her that she can go, but that there is a risk that dad will petition the court to force her to live with him when he finds out, and that is her risk--the alternative being to stay with your husband.

I wish you and your family the best in 2010.

Thank you very much for having allowed me to assist you. It would be greatly appreciated if you would click the green Accept icon so that I can receive credit for having assisted you.

Best regards,


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