Can a 14 year old decide who she wants to live with without having to go to court? 1 Answers as of February 02, 2011

My ex and I share joint custody of our 14 year old daughter. She lives with him during the week and attends high school in the county that they reside in. However, my ex and his current spouse are having marital difficulties. The police had to be called to their house last week and my daughter was present during the incident. His wife has cheated on him and he has evidence of her affair. She destroyed his computer and his office and even threatened to burn down the house with him and my daughter in it. My daughter does not feel safe there and wants to move in with me and change schools. My ex is listed as primary custodian in the divorce papers. I know that he is going to dispute everything and is going to want her to stay with him and not change schools. My question is what do I have to do in order for her to change schools and start living with me during the week? She stills wants to see her father, she just doesn't want to live there anymore. Do we have to go to court for the change? Do I need to hire an attorney? We live in Georgia. Thank you for any information.

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Lori C. Obenauf LLC
Lori C. Obenauf LLC | Lori C. Obenauf
You will need to file a Petition for Change of Custody and your 14 year old will need to sign an affidavit stating that she wants to live primarily with you. While it is possible for you to file this Petition on your own, I always recommend hiring a knowledgeable attorney to handle these matters. It is much easier to have the matters handled correctly from the beginning of legal proceedings than to try to "undo" an unfavorable court decision. Please feel free to contact my office for additional information.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 2/2/2011
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