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Can my 15 year old decide who he wants to live with?

Wynne, AR |

My ex wife currently has custody of our 15, 17 and 18 year old sons. My 15 year old, wants to live with me. His mother called me last night to come get him because he was fighting with his 17 yr old brother. My son claims that his mother is always taking sides with the other 2 children and blaming him for things. He states that he fights with his mom all the time, he doesn't get along with his stepfather, his stepfather threatens him and they constantly are threatening to send him to juvenile hall. He is scared to go to school where he lives because his brother has threatened to have other kids "beat him up". He states he feels closer to me and my wife. My exwife states that she can't "control" him and gets on to him and threatens him when he tells her that he wants to live with me. She has taken everything out of his room and even took his door off the hinges. He only has a mattress and a lamp in his room. He is depressed because of his current living situation. I have talked to my exwife and explained that he wants to live with me and she states "that is what he wants" and she won't let him. We live in Arkansas. Can you please advise me on what neds to be done so that he can come live with me and be happy? Will the courts grant his wish on the above mentioned grounds? Thank you, Jimmy Forrester

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Filed under: Child custody
Attorney answers 1


To make the change in custody you will need to file a Motion for Change of Custody. In Arkansas the child never gets to make the decision as to what parent they live with. However your son is old enough to testify to the Judge that he wants to live with you. The law requires the Judge to take the child’s request into consideration when making his decision. The standard for the Judge in making a custody determination is what is “in the best interest of the child.”

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