Can a 15 year old choose to stay with one parent instead of split custody?

I went through a similar situation a long time ago, and while I'm not a lawyer I can tell you my experience.

My parents divorced when I was very young and my father got full custody with my out of state, and she got summers and certain vacation times (alternating thanksgiving and christmas).

In seventh grade (~13 years old) my mother and her family guilted me into saying I wanted to live with her full time. They helped me break the news to my father. I am unaware of if my father contested this because they kept the legal matters very secret from the kids, but I do know that I moved in with her immediately.

Six months later, while visiting my fathers family, they convinced me that my mother tricked me into doing what she wanted, and to reverse it, so once again we had the call, filed with the courts, changed the custody, and I was living full time with Dad again.

In both of these cases my parents basically controlled me because at that age I still idolized my parents and wanted to do what they asked and could not truly appreciate the legal situation, the ramifications of what was occurring, and what I was being asked to do.

But they both did agree to let me basically choose for myself, and the courts respected their (my) wishes as well.

I get the feeling neither of my parents aggressive contested the custody however, so if your father aggressive contests the custody I have no idea what would happen.

If you collect your thoughts, write it down, and maturely and calmly explain to him that you'd like to live full time with your mother and only visit him occasionally, most reasonable parents would agree, or at least try to make big changes to make you more comfortable.

I will tell you, if you are truly interested in changing custody and your father will not agree, you would want to work with your mom and her lawyer to help challenge the custody by challenging his behavior.

Specifically, the court might be very interested that your father is making you spend time with an abuser and has anger issues. Have you told your mom these things? Does her lawyer know?

If you don't feel safe at your fathers house and think his behavior is inappropriate, you shouldn't necessarily be forced to go there. If you are in a situation with your previous abuser or an angry dad and you don't feel safe, please call your other parent immediately and tell them you don't feel safe and you need help.

You might want to consider beginning therapy regarding your relationship with your father and your home life, the abuse you received, etc. My parents put me through therapy following the custody battles and while it was weird for a 13 year old it was helpful.

/r/legaladvice Thread