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?

Answer:

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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