Can my 17 year old son decide which parent he wants to live with?
My son is 17 years and 4 months old. His father and I have joint custody with his father being domicile parent. My son feels he needs to get away from his father, stepmother and step brothers and wants to live with me full time. What is the easiest way to do this? He is threatening to run away from his father's house if he can't legally leave.
To do this legally you will need to make an application for modification of the order of custody. I would strongly suggest that you seek legal help to do this. Louisiana, as I recall, follows the Napoleonic Code, and certain statutes are written, well, lets say, without the best interest of a woman. In all fairness your son should have a say in what his wishes are for residence. He is old enough to make a case for himself. But it should be a logical and well reasoned argument. Most courts will not change the domicile because say the child doesn't like the rules about curfew, etc. But if he is treated very differently from his step-siblings then maybe the facts will give rise to a change in domicile. Good luck.
The general rule is that a minor child cannot choose which parent they want to live with. The court will determine this by looking to many factors, such as: home environment, income and education of the parents, the child's relationship with each parent, reason for wanting the change, etc.
Yet, while a child cannot choose where they want to live, if they over the age of 12, their preference is given consideration and is one of the factors that the court considers (the older the child, the more weight it is given).
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