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    susanlw420's Avatar
    susanlw420 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Nov 1, 2013, 10:09 AM
    When can a minor child determine who he wants to live with
    Our daughter and her two children, who are now 16 year old boy and 14 year old girl have lived with us for the past eight years. Due to our daughter's divorce and addiction problems that have since been remedied, we willingly took over the care of our grandchildren. Our daughter works full time, attends AA meetings several times a week, has social meetings several times a week. She has stepped up as a parent over the years, but it is primarily our responsibility to take care of her children in all ways, ie; meals, take to appointments, buy clothes, groceries, etc. We added an additional bedrooms several years ago so that all could have their own rooms. It was, perhaps incorrectly, assumed that the children would be here until they left for college. Our daughter has been in several relationships that have not lasted more than 6 months to a year and is now in a relationship with a man since January. They jointly signed a lease and our daughter has moved out with him and his 14 year old daughter and is taking her two children with her. (It is in the same town, and relatively close by). Needless to say, we are broken-hearted and the children are very torn as to where they want to live. This is their home and their security. We love our daughter as well and want her to be happy, but don't feel this is the best solution for our grandchildren. My question is this: Can the children stay here if they choose to even if she says they have to move with her? She has told them and us they have no choice, but they don't want to go. She has legal custody and we have no intention of fighting for custody or ruining our relationship with her.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #2

    Nov 1, 2013, 10:21 AM
    She has legal custody - that is all that matters. You could try to get custody away from her by proving that she is unfit, but it doesn't sound like she is, and you make it clear that you don't want to. The children don't have any rights until they turn 18.

    My suggestion is to try to stay positive and offer to take them any time, which you may find they will do surprisingly soon. They may not be ready for abruptly doing all that you have been doing, and if the kids aren't happy and wish they were with you, that may add to the equation of a good, informal, friendly arrangement. But if you bought all their furniture, don't give it to her! You need it for visits. And don't give her any money! She will be in for a shock when she sees what their food bill will be, just for starters. Somehow you have to remain serene and 'helpful' without dishing out that help in the form of money and goods. Just a place for the kids at times.

    Lastly, it may not be such a bad thing for this to happen. They are old enough to get to know their mother away from you, and to learn what it takes to parent, for their own futures as possible parents. They also need to know that life has disruptions, and all cannot be wonderful til the day they are on their own. Think of it in positive ways if you can.

    Hopefully you are in the same school district as their new place?
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #3

    Nov 1, 2013, 11:55 AM
    Bottom line, minor children cannot choose.

    You don't say is if anything was done through the courts or Family Services to assign the children to your care. I'm assuming by your statement that she has legal custody, that the answer would be no. If she has legal custody she can take HER children with her at any time.

    What you need to decide is whether you want to fight it. If you go to court you stand a decent chance of winning. Especially if the move means changing school districts. While the children can't choose, at their ages, the courts will listen to their preference. On the other hand, fighting might damage your relationship to your daughter.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7691
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    #4

    Nov 1, 2013, 09:22 PM
    A minor child can not decide, they have to live where the court orders.

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