My daughter is 9 years old and has been telling me for a couple years that she would rather live with me. The court just ordered my ex to give me parenting time every other weekend. My ex has lied to the courts repeatedly in a letter and they haven't caught onto it yet (if they check records they will find out she lied). She had a major drug problem in the past as hospital records will prove. She is not a responsible person at all with a criminal record. I have no criminal record.
Depending upon various factors, a motion can be prepared seeking an evidentiary hearing to secure an order for change of custody. Your daughter's input will be considered as one of the factors in the Court's decision. You will need the assistance of counsel in this matter.
Were you married and divorced? The fact that your daughter prefers to live with you is truly irrelevant as to what must done. The child's preference is only 1 factor the court must consider when a Motion for Change of Custody is filed. First, however, you must set forth a sufficient basis for a change in custody since entry of the last custody order. If the court does not believe there is a basis, then the motion ends right there. Frankly, the mere preference of your daughter is not a sufficient basis. Somehow your ex wound up with custody, even with your apparent knowledge of her criminal record. If that was the case, how can you argue that her criminal record now has a bearing on the issue of custody, when you could have raised the same and pursued custody of your daughter in the initial proceeding?
When you state the court just granted you parenting time every other weekend, the question arises as to where you've been in your daughter's life until getting this parenting time? Unless there are substantial facts in your favor when considering the child custody factors, it's my opinion that you'd be wasting time and money. However, you should at least consult with an experienced attorney in family law/custody matters who may be able to more fully explore the basis of your request to change custody in relation to the child custody factors.
Neil M. Colman
Mr. Colman is licensed to practice law in Michigan. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Colman strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.