How can I convince the judge that my son should live with me? 3 Answers as of November 05, 2010

My husband and I are getting a divorce, and my 14-year-old son wants to live with my husband. However, I am sure that he only wants to live with his dad because Dad lets him do whatever he wants. He just started high school, and I am worried that living in a completely undisciplined environment will negatively affect his development. What can I do to show the judge that he should be living with me?

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Goldberg Jones
Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
You can testify in your Declaration as to the lack of discipline at the fathers house, but you definitely have an uphill battle unless you can get the custodial evaluator on your side.

At a bare minimum you need to make the Judge believe it is in your sons best interest to still have a lot of time at your home. At least you can monitor things and make sure he is getting his homework done, staying healthy, etc.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/5/2010
Law Office of Cristin M. Lowe
Law Office of Cristin M. Lowe | Cristin M. Lowe
It is somewhat a bit of an urban myth to say that a 14 year old has the right to choose where he wants to live. The Courts job still is to determine the best interests of the child. Although the Court can and usually does give weight to what the childs wishes are, it must be based on the child's maturity level. By way of example, ad 14-year-old who just wants to not have to do homework and be able to stay out all night is going to be taken far less seriously than an 8-year-old who wants to live with Dad because he makes sure the child gets to school on time and helps him with homework.

You will need to spend a considerable amount of time preparing for mediation, as it will be your best time and opportunity to explain the situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/5/2010
Diefer Law Group, P.C.
Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
The issue is that at that age the court will consider the minors wishes. You have a hard case in front of you. You should consider hiring an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/4/2010
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