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Is it legal to move out of my mothers home, to my fathers home, (parents divorced), at 17?

Douglasville, GA |

My parents divorced quite a while back, I'm 17 years old and honestly I would rather live with my father. Me and my brothers go to his house every other weekend from Friday to Sunday night. I just feel that it is better for me to be living there, than at home. I want to start my Senior year of Highschool where he lives, and get a job, and get a car, and start my life out where he lives. I don't like being at home, me and my family constantly fight, and I'm sick of it. My father works every week and pays child support. I want to know, if when I turn 17 in August, could I legally move in with my dad? And if I left my home, and just went to live with him, could my mom take action to keep me at home, or could she press charges against my father?

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Attorney answers 6


You need to contact a local divorce attorney and visit the lawyer with your father in person before you do anything. In many states a 17?year old cannot decide who to live with. If you cannot decide then your dad can file in court for you to live with him.

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It wouldn't be about charges - but the right way to do this is to have your parents modify the custody agreement.

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Your father needs to pursue a change of custody petition. You could express your wishes to the Judge, and your father could be awarded custody. How this affects your brothers depends upon their ages, and maybe their wishes. The child support issue must also be sorted out, and that depends upon what happens to your brothers also, and upon the income of each parent.
However, you need to know that nothing is going to change without a court order, and your father needs to retain an experienced custody attorney.

I am exclusively a family law attorney, practicing primarily in the metro Atlanta, Georgia trial courts. However, I handle appeals from anywhere in Georgia.


Absent a court order, and that is something yuour father would have to seek, the answer is no. And he could be found in contempt of court if he allows you to move in withoutr your mother's consent. If he files a case, you can espress a preference in the case.

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You do not get to pick where to live at 17.

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You need to get your father to file a custody modification case and then you can tell the judge where you prefer to live. Since you are above age 14, in Georgia you have the right to request which parent you want to live with. It is still up to the judge to decide what is in your best interest but you can have a lot of input into this decision. Basically, it is up to the judge to decide this unless your parents can agree.