Thank you for your question.
Florida does not allow a child to make the decision as to which parent they want to live with. While a court can consider their wishes (especially at 15) it is not binding on the court. Instead, the court is going to look at what is in the best interest of the child
In seeking modification of the custody agreement, you have to prove that since the original order, there has been significant change and that it is in the best interest of the child that custody be awarded to you. It's a difficult burden to prove, I'll be honest --especially since family law
judges so often feel like if a child is doing okay in their current environment, why change things.
I think there are certainly issues you can point to based on the facts you've given me that are helpful to you. A court isn't going to tolerate a parent abusing a child. Repeated violations of the court order by the mother
and denying you visitation
also work in your favor, and of course, your daughter's wishes. I don't see the criminal charge being an issue because the charge was dropped, and (presumably) there have been no other issues or concerns since then.
I obviously cannot guarantee an outcome -ethically, no lawyer can, nor can we predict what a judge will do. As I said, changing custody is very, very difficult. But the abuse and denials of the visitation agreement are definitely things that work for you. I'd say you certainly have a better chance then many others who simply want to change custody because they don't want to pay child support.
Should you have any follow-up questions or need additional information, please use the REPLY feature and I'll be happy to assist you. Thank you.