Can My Teenage Daughter Choose To Move In With Me?

teenage child custodyQuestion:

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.

Florida Divorce Lawyer Anna Reynolds
Florida Divorce Lawyer Anna Reynolds

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.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Florida divorce lawyer Anna Reynolds, contact Cordell & Cordell.

End of Content Icon

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.

One comment on “Can My Teenage Daughter Choose To Move In With Me?

    I was allowed to choose my custodial parent when I was 10 years old. A child psychologist interviewed me and told the court I was capable of making the decision for my own best interest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.