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At what age can a child choose to live with the parent who does not have custody? And does it matter if the parent the child wants to live with was forced many years ago to give up her parental rights?

She's still her biological mother and the daughter knows the father was abusive to her because now he is treating the daughter the same way. She's 15 and growing into a beautiful young lady . The father HATES that she's like her mother and she's constantly grounded, spends most of her time in her room. He's so controlling. He's always taking her phone away (mostly so she can't call her mother), won't let her watch TV and when he's mad at her he says, 'You're just like your mom!" If the daughter were to 'run away' from home (which is in Texas) to go live with her mother (in another state), what could the father do legally or is it true that once she is with who she wants to be with, the law will uphold her choice and the father couldn't touch her? This is my youngest of 6. Yes, I'm the

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Asked by vkirschman at 6:35 PM on Jan. 7, 2009 in Relationships

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Answers (9)
  • Did you give up your parental rights or just custody and have the right to see her? Theres a BIG diff legally when approaching this question.
    if you have no rights to her and are no longer on the birth cert there is absolutely nothing you can do, you have no rights to the child.
    if you just gave up custody and can see her then you need to file a motion with the courts in TX and the judge will allow her to testify and tell why she wants to move. Most of the time judges go the way the kids want after age 12.

    Answer by gemgem at 6:40 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • I believe that she is legally old enough to make her own decision, but I also think that you would have to do this legally. You would need to take him back to court to have your daughter tell the judge that she wants to live with you. But I don't think the judge has to allow her to do that if there is any reason she shouldn't live with you. So you want to make sure there is nothing currently that could be used against you to keep the judge from allowing it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:41 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • She shouldn't run away, that will NOT help her situation at all. She needs to call her mother and tell her mother to take him to court for custody and that she will tell the judge she wants to live with her mother. But her mother needs to get a lawyer and possibly a lawyer needs to be representing this girl as well. 15 is old enough to tell a judge whom she wants to live with.

    Answer by feesharose at 7:34 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • If you gave up your parental rights, I don't think the court will let the child decide. Basically signing that paperwork strips the title of parent and puts you in the same category as the rest of the world...and a child cant just pick whoever they want to live with in court. I would talk to a lawyer or try to work out something with the father allowing you to have her?

    Answer by kabbot01 at 7:39 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • Go to legal aid and ask them to file for full custody of her. Another option is to call CPS and have them go in and let her tell them that she wants to go live with you. If they see fit they can ask the court to remove her from the home and send her to you unless there is some legal reason why you can't provide for her properly. Also, see if they will provide a Guardian Ad Litem for her to protect her legal rights and keep her from harm. She has the right to live with you if she wants. Ask him if he will allow her to go. He might want to be out from under the burden of a teen daugher.

    Answer by admckenzie at 7:46 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • Are you absolutely sure what she's telling you is the truth? I remember being 15 and I hated having rules, and it seemed like I was always grounded (I wasn't) and when I'd get in trouble with one parent I'd want to go live with the other. I'm surprised neither of my parents said, this is last time. The court isn't going to take her away for groundings from phone and tv... if he's emotionally or physically abusive to her that's a whole other thing but grounding your kids isn't such a bad thing. I have control of my kids, but it doesn't mean I'm a controlling bad Mom and I'm positive as they get older they're going to hate me and my rules at different points in time. Maybe she is just like you.. is that a bad thing?

    Answer by lisa_ann_p at 8:14 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • She is old enough to file for a parental divorce or emancipation. If she has proof of any abuse then it will help her case. She will have to have at least a part time job and she will need to be able to tell a judge what her residency plans are. I would seek a family court judge and ask him/her what you could do to reestablish parental contact but tell her by no means is she to run away. That will only harm your case and her own. Good luck to you:)

    Answer by micrespo at 8:20 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • A child that is older than 12 can have a say in which parent they choose to live with.

    Answer by jburg2541 at 10:28 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • if she runs away her custodial parent can file charges against her for being unruly, and she can be arrested and sent to juvenile detention. Your ex will most probably have the police look at you first when searching for her. You could have charges brought against you since you have no custodial rights. Get a lawyer and go through the courts. Maybe he's just as anxious for her to leave as she is; the stress level in the house must be outrageous, but he doesn't want to admit that he needs help.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:53 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

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