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Can a 13 year old decide to live with a family member other than the parent?

Findlay, OH |

My 13 y/o niece was adopted by my brother-in-law 5 years ago. 4 years ago my sister (her mother) died. My niece is very unhappy living with him and wants to live with my parents. Does she have the right to decide to live with her maternal grandparents instead of her adopted father?

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Attorney answers 1


I do not practice law in Ohio so my answers are based on general principles of child custody law rather than specific Ohio rules. Generally a child does not get to choose to live with someone other than her parent without their being some legally significant reason other than just general unhappiness.

Your parents should consult a children's law attorney in their area to help determine if there may be a basis for them to petition for custody through a guardianship or otherwise.

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