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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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i have joint custody of my 16yr old son, my ex has physical

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i have joint custody of my 16yr old son, my ex has physical custody. my son has requested to reverse the arrangement & make me his primary care giver. My ex says no. I live in OK they live in TN. What are my options?
Hello there:

Thank you for entrusting me with your question. Is the custody order an Oklahoma state order or a Tennessee state order?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for entrusting me with your question. Under Oklahoma child custody laws, child custody is determined based on the best interest of the child regardless of the minor child's age, so there is no age at which a minor child gets to choose where they reside; however, the preferences of the child will be taken into consideration and weighed based on their age and maturity. In practice, the court typically starts listening to the child's preference in earnest around age 12 or 13, and almost always defers to their preference by their 15th birthday. I have only seen the court not adhere to the wishes of a 16 year old once or twice (and those were exceptional cases) and I have seen the court not adhere to the wishes of a 15 year old perhaps a dozen times. A 14 year old who doesn't want to visit with a parent because "I dunno... it'd be kinda cool" will not be taken seriously, but a 16 year old who can explain the importance of the proposed arrangement to their personal developmental and emotional needs will typically get to "choose".

In that context, a child's physical custody arrangement may be changed by petitioning the court for a modification to the custody order.

I understand that you may have follow-up questions. Let me know if further clarification is needed. Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So, i can just go before the court here in Oklahoma to petition? I dont have to have a lawyer?
The request for modification would be filed in whichever court most recently had jurisdiction. Whether you need an attorney depends on you. The family courts have gone to great lengths to make themselves more accessible to the public. They have partially succeeded--things are nothing like they were 30 years ago, but the process is not at all intuitive. Handling your own case is like preparing your own income tax returns; some people will always need professional assistance, some people are sophisticated enough to handle their own matter, but the majority of people can stumble through their own issues successfully as long as there is nothing unusually complex about their case.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Who has jurisdiction? Ok, because it was ordered here or Tn because thats where their residency is.

Unless there was a motion to change venue and the Oklahoma court granted the motion, it would stay in Oklahoma. It would not move automatically. Either you or the other parent would have to request it and give each other time to respond and a chance to be heard in court.
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