Can My Child Come Live With Me?

child custodyQuestion:

My son has really struggled academically over the last couple years since his mom and I divorced. He has persistently expressed the desire to come live with me so he can get better help in school.

My wife and I have discussed this option, but she is insisting on waiting until next year until letting him move. I think this is an urgent matter as our son has really struggled coping with all the change our divorce has brought.

The reason he is struggling is a simple matter of his mother not spending enough time with him to help him with the subjects he struggles with. Could I take her to court to get the child custody order modified this year?


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and am unable to give you legal advice, I can give you some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Where I do practice in Virginia, to modify child custody requires a two-step process.

First, you must prove that there has been a substantial and material change since the entry of the last order, and then, you must prove that the change you are requesting would be in the best interest of the children.

Virginia Divorce Attorney Charles Hatley
Virginia Divorce Attorney Charles Hatley

Regarding the children’s desires, that would come in under the best interest of the child. The child’s desires are just one element of a multi-element standard.

Child custody is very jurisdiction-specific and requires a specialized knowledge of local law. For these reasons, I would suggest you contact an attorney who focuses on family law matters in your jurisdiction.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on these matters, so please contact an attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws of your state and how they impact your case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Virginia divorce Lawyer Charles D. Hatley, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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Shawn Garrison is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell & Cordell UK. He has written countless pieces dealing with the unique child custody and divorce issues that men and fathers face. Through his work on,, and, Mr. Garrison has become an authority on the complexities of the legal experience and was a content creator for the YouTube series “Dad’s Divorce Live” and additional videos on both the Dad’s Divorce and Cordell & Cordell YouTube channels. Mr. Garrison has managed the sites of these customers, and fostered the creation of several of their features, including the Cordell & Cordell attorney and office pages, the Dad’s Divorce Newsletter, and the Cordell & Cordell newsletter.

2 comments on “Can My Child Come Live With Me?

    What can I do it both if my children want to come live with me in a different state than their mother with better schooling better education than the mother has in the state that she lives in now my oldest daughter is 13 and my youngest daughter is 10 do they have the option to choose with which parent they would like to live with?

    It is a sad day in our country when a judge says a child cannot leave our country while his dad is stationed overseas. If the child cannot go there when a family care plan has been approved by her fathers commanding officer our servicemen should not be able to go to another country either. The court system has no regard for the military, and this is wrong for our servicemen protecting our freedom. We use to live in a country where it was an honor to be in the military and I think our servicemen should still be honored for their sacrifice to serve in our countries military.

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