What are my changes of changing a custody agreement? 3 Answers as of February 17, 2012

My ex- wife has had custody of my daughter and son since divorce in 2002. Son came out to live with me last year and I got an order for it officially last fall. My daughter is still living with my ex- wife but wants to move out with me where I am stationed with the Army in Minnesota. Her mom says no. Our daughter’s grades are all "D"s and one "F" and maybe one "C-". My daughter is almost 15 years old and wants to try living with me. I have always exercised my visitation and never late on child support. Always enjoyed close relationship with both kids. Do I have a chance of winning custody in court considering A.) the teenage child's desire B.) her grades are suffering and C.) her 12 year old brother now lives with me?

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

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
You have a chance but not a slam dunk. Maybe 60/40 because of her grades.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/17/2012
The DeRose Lawfirm | Peter J. DeRose
My experience tells me that most judges would not abruptly change custody unless there was a powerful reason to do so. That having been said, your situation makes a change more palatable, from the standpoint of the court. Failing grades shows a lack of "real parenting" by your ex-wife. The court will change custody when it is consistent with the best interests of the child. One of the most important factors in determining what is in the best interests of the child is the preference of the child if he or she is old enough to express a preference. I think your daughter is old enough and I fell the court will listen to her, especially with the other factors. Equally important is how your son is doing in school and life while under your custodial control. The fact that he is doing well will influence the judge that you are exercising "real parenting" skills. Hire an experienced lawyer and file a petition for a change in custody. You can also involve CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) to act as an advocate for your daughters wish to have you become the custodial parent, if the county you are in has a CASA program set up.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/17/2012
J.W.Poprawa, Attorney at Law | Joseph W. Poprawa
Those are all positive factors. The courts must use a balancing test of multiple factors in determining the "best interests" of the child. The preference of the child (which is generally given greater weight the older the child is) and the education of the child are two of the factors the court must weigh and they appear favorable to you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 2/17/2012
Click to View More Answers: