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What is the age that a minor can decide what parent to live with, without having to go back to court in Georgia

Athens, GA |

She will be 17 in four months and wants to live with her mother now.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Children cannot make any decisions on where to live until age 18, and at that point no court is involved.

    Custody CANNOT be changed prior to age 18 without court order.

    A child 14 and over can express, if a parent files a court case, an opinion as to custody. The judge is required to consider it but can elect not to follow a choice that he does not deem to be in the child's interest.

    No custody change should be filed without a lawyer.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


  2. She can 'elect' to live with her mother, but in order for that election to be enforceable, you have to revise your Parenting Plan and have it signed off by a Judge for that election to be enforceable. This can all be done by consent, but it still has to be signed off on by a Judge. If your current Parenting Plan has that you have primary physical custody and you are ok with her going to live with her mother, the mother is the one that is arguably taking a risk. The reason is that you could enforce the current Parenting Plan a month later. There may be other factors to be considered. Your best bet would be to have a consultation with a local family law attorney so that they can ask you all relevant questions and make a informed recommendation for you.

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