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What age if any can a child decide which parent to live with when I have full custody to age of 18.

Dallas, GA |

I am a single 41 year old mom with a 7 year old girl and 13 year old girl. I went through a divorce a year and half ago. It was a bad situation where there was domestic violence and drugs and I was placed in a shelter with my girls for my safety and theirs since he threatened my life and my oldest girl. This all took place in Tulsa, OK and once I was allowed, I moved to my parents home and took my girls which is located in Georgia. Once the divorce was final, I was awarded sole custody of my girls to the age of 18. Their father does have them for summer, and certain holidays throughtout the year as long as he passes his drug tests. My main question is that since he is almost 5000.00 behind on childsupport, he is trying to have my oldest girl which is 13 come live with him. He is promising all kinds of things if she will and is telling her that they want split the girls up and if she will come there then my 7yr old will have to come too. Is there a certain age that a child can pick which parent to live with especially due to the circumstances of me having sole custody and all the violence that took place with him hurting me and my girls. Since being in Georgia, they have turned their lifes around and started making A's and B's honor roll and have a safe place to call home. But he is making all these promises of less discipline, gifts, and basically letting them do what they want which sounds good to a 13year old inspite of what we went through. Please let me know my rights and does the child have the right to decide.

My case is a little different. It's my fourteen and a half year old granddaughter. She is living with her dad and his current wife and wants to come live with me in another state. Her mom, my daughter, died earlier this year. She had full custody while my granddaughter was in her care. I lived with my daughter and granddaughter almost four years after they moved back to our home state after a bitter divorce. Since my granddaughter wants to live with me, can she do so? There has been an incident of physical abuse and ongoing emotional abuse. Thank you' Veronica

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Attorney answers 1


At age 14, the child may tell the court who he/she wants to live with. However, the court will also consider what's in the child's best interest. Given the allegations of abuse and drug use, you should be able to convince the court why living with the father is not in the children's best interest.

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