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JD 1992
JD 1992, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33424
Experience:  Began practicing Family Law in 1992
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Can 16 yo choose to live with grandma if father has custody?

Customer Question

In Massachusetts, can a 16 or 17 year old decide to live with a grandparent, even when his father has legal custody?
Has been reported out of state; child wanted to stay with grandmother, but mom reported it to court. Judge said no. Mom does not want custody. Grandmother is willing to take custody. Child does not want to live with dad.
The child is has been sleeping in the living room for one year and failed 3 subjects in school. Has some difficulties with the English language. Mom gave full custody to dad a year ago. Kid is very unhappy and did not want to get on the plane back. Took a taxi to his grandma's house.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  JD 1992 replied 11 months ago.

Yes and no, a minor can never actually chose who to live with. However, what they can do if there is a motion filed with the court to change their custody or living arrangements they can file an affidavit that expresses their wishes as to who to live with. The judge is then required to consider their wishes but it is always a decision of the judge and never entirely up to the child. However, at that age the judge is almost certainly going to do what the child prefers. However, it must be presented by the child, not someone else telling the judge this is what the child wants.

Please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread.