My 16-year-old daughter lives with my ex-wife and wants to move in with me. Can her mother prevent this?
At the time of my divorce I was devastated and ended up with a bad custody arrangement.
While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue.
It is understandable that you were in a bad place at the time of your divorce. If you were not represented by counsel at that time, you might consider now hiring an attorney to help you modify the terms of your final judgment.
More than likely the final judgment designates your ex-wife as the parent with whom your daughter was to spend the majority of the time, or the parent with whom your daughter was to live with primarily. If this is the case, she can stop you from moving your daughter in based on the terms of the final judgment.
You will likely need court approval to accomplish what you’re asking. However, you can usually avoid involving the court if you are able to get your wife’s written agreement that your daughter should now live with you.
If you cannot obtain her agreement, you will likely need to ask the court to change the terms of your final divorce judgment so that she is able to live with you. This will require filing a petition with the court and following through with the court process that is applicable in your state.
In Florida for example, you are able to petition the court to change the terms of a custody/timesharing order if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since entry of the order.
Additionally, your daughter might be of the age to testify in court as to her desire to live with you.