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I have been divorced for two years. My ex is the custodial parent. My son is 13 and does not want to be with her. I live in NY.

New York, NY |

When asked, he will state emphatically that he wants to live with his father. I also have a 22 year old daughter, his sister, that is currently living with me as well. My son will tell you that his mother drinks too much, smokes too much, and keeps a very filthy house.
My question is, how difficult will it be, to get custody of my son?

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Attorney answers 6


You will have to file a petition to modify in the jurisdictioon where it was originally heard. How difficult it will be will depend upon your ex. You may be able to negotiate an agreement whereby the child is allowed to move in with you. It will be decided upon the basis of the best interest of the child. In Florida there are twenty stautory factors to be evaluated. The child maay not be able to express his desire to the court except through a pearenting evaluator or psychologist. Consult with a family attorney in that jurisdiction.


File a family court petition citing the son's wishes. Have an adult resident non party serve the mother. Come to court and ask for assignment of a law guardian. Ask the court to speak with your son.

You should very well.

Good luck.


It is never easy to change custody from one parent to another, but that does not mean it isn't possible. You should file a petition and get prepared for a battle. If you can garner proof of the mother's negative behavior patterns it will make things easier for you. You should also get copies of his school records and then go over all the proof with your attorney in order to prepare for the hearings. Good luck.

I have been a criminal attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Phone #: 718-208-6094 email: This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.


As you can imagine, it really is impossible to tell you "how difficult" it will be without knowing much more about the history of the case. The fact that your 13 year old son is adamant about where he wants to live means that his attorney, if one is appointed, will support your position. To find out more and to receive meaningful advice, I suggest you arrange for a confidential consultation with an attorney--I'm sure it will be worth the nominal expense to get a sense of whether you should invest in a custody dispute at this time and/or to find out if there's a chance of negotiating a chance without litigation. Good luck!

Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: All of Ms. Brown's responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.


Generally you're right on the border (in terms of age of child) where the court considers his preference to be a very strong factor. It means by the time you'd hit a trial, he'll be 14 & his preference will likely carry the day. For a full assessment, speak to a NYC Family Law attorney.

* If you found my answer to be "HELPFUL," or the "BEST ANSWER," please feel free to mark it accordingly.


The AOC will side with the boy, and if you can demonstrate the truth of the alcohol consumptiona and its consequences and effects on the child, you have a decent shot with an aggressive attorney. Check out Avvo and good luck.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.

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