Can my child live with me over the summer if she wants to?

Question: My daughter is 13 and will be 14 in April. She wants to move in with me this summer and go to high school in my community. Can her mom stop her?


Answer:  I must preface my answer that I do not practice in Arizona. Each state has different laws governing child custody.  It is important that you contact a domestic litigation attorney licensed in Arizona prior to taking any action.

In most states a Permanent Parenting Plan is in place upon the granting of divorce.  If you have one in place for your divorce, then it will be controlling of parental rights as of now.  This document provides the details of parenting time and major decisions between you and your ex-wife.

If you want to change this Permanent Parenting Plan then you can petition the court to modify it to allow your daughter to attend school in your community.  A court will typically make a decision based upon the best interests of the child.  Based on the facts you have given me, it appears that for now your ex-wife can prevent your daughter from moving in with you based on what you agreed upon at the time of divorce.  However, you can ask the court to modify this agreement.


Steven “Lee” Akins, Jr. is a Staff Attorney in the Memphis, Tennessee office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. Mr. Akins practices exclusively in the area of domestic relations. He received his BBA in Finance from Southern Methodist University and continued his education to receive his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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