Can we change our custody agreement if my child does not want to go? 2 Answers as of November 04, 2010

My husband and I have been divorced for 3 years and my 13-year old daughter spends about 70% of her time with me. Lately she does not want to spend any time with her father and is complaining to me that she wants me to have sole custody of her and does not want to live with her father at all. Will we be able to change our custody agreement even if my husband will not agree to it?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Masson & Fatini, LLP
Masson & Fatini, LLP | Richard E. Masson
Yes, you can change your custody arrangement but absent your ex-spouses consent, you will need to obtain permission from the court. You would do so by filing an Order to Show Cause Re Modification of Child Custody and Visitation. Assuming you currently share legal and joint custody with your ex-spouse, you will first need to show a material change in circumstances warranting changing the current order to give you sole custody of your daughter. Then, you will be required to show that a change in custody serves your daughters best interest. Based upon your daughters age (13 years old) and assuming she is mature enough to offer her independent view of the situation, the court will consider her preference. You should note, however, that courts rarely grant sole custody to one parent except in extreme circumstances, i.e., domestic violence, habitual drug or alcohol use, etc., and often look unfavorably on a parents (or a childs) request to minimize or eliminate the other parent void of extreme circumstances.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/4/2010
The English Law Firm
The English Law Firm | Robert English
Maybe. The minors wishes are a factor in modifying custody and visitation plans. However, the standard is "best interests of the minor." If the wishes of the minor are against the court's determination of her best interests, then it will not be granted. You should speak to an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/2/2010
Click to View More Answers: