Can My Child Choose Which Parent to Live With?

GoodTherapy | Can My Child Choose Which Parent to Live With? On a fairly regular basis I am asked by a divorced parent how old their child must be before they can choose which parent they want to live with. Many parents tell me their child will be 12 years old, 13 years old, 14 years old soon and will be able to make their own decisions. They appear to be uniformly surprised to learn that a minor child does not have the legal right to decide which parent to live with.

Depending on the jurisdiction in which you live, the age of your child may matter only in terms of the weight a judge might give to a child’s preference, should he or she have one. In general, the older they are the more their preference might be considered. Their preferences are not usually considered in a vacuum, however. It could be that Susie might want to live with Dad because he is more lenient in his rules… He doesn’t make her go to church, let’s her stay out an hour later, doesn’t nag her about homework, etc. Or the preference might be because Mom is supportive of Joey’s desire to be on the soccer team or takes him to his horseback riding lessons or is excited about the dance program he is in. When Mom or Dad uniformly does not support a child’s activities when that activity spans the parenting time of both parents, it is not surprising to a judge that a child might have a preference. However, children rarely know all the details of how a parent decides to do something or what both parents talk about regarding their decisions. Sometimes the decisions are financially impacting one parent differently than the other. The child may only know that Mom or Dad is not taking them where they want to go but not that it is not affordable. Whatever the reason, by early to mid teens, a court is likely to take the child’s concerns into consideration in making an order while being very careful not to ask the child to make a decision and learning as much as possible about the context of that preference.

Asking a child to make a decision, even when the child believes they would like to do so, is often detrimental. I have spoken with many adults who, as children, “got to choose” where to live when their parents divorced. In retrospect, they regretted having made a decision that was honored, feeling guilty about the parent they did not choose and feeling the tug of loyalty between the two people who brought them into the world. Anecdotally, this appears to be true whether they had a good relationship with the unchosen parent or not.

The responsibility of working out the parenting plan for their children rests with the parents. Parents may choose to work with a mental health professional with an expertise in this area to help them understand their differences and to talk through the various options available to them to make the transition the least disruptive for their children. When parents cannot have these conversations, even with help, they often find themselves bringing their indecision to court for a judge to intervene.

Some parents try to influence their children to see the situation as they do. This will often be an additional burden on the child who does not want to disappoint this parent or feels inadequate to resist their influence and also wants to maintain his or her relationship with the other parent. What are they supposed to do now? This is one of the most difficult experiences a child can have while already having to face all the changes due to the divorce itself. And, it is the type of behavior that is often seen as alienating by the other parent.

Children are not marginalized by having no voice, nor are they given the burden of deciding. It is the responsibility of the parents to protect their children from whatever conflict they might have and act together for the benefit of their children.

Related Articles:
Children and Divorce
How Parents Make it Difficult for Children to Love Their Other Parent
Unity in Parenting

© Copyright 2011 by Shendl Tuchman, PsyD. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • lisa

    June 3rd, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    it’s best if the parents sit together,put aside their ego and problems between them ad then really think what will be the best for the CHILD,not for themselves but for the child. They should then proceed to take that route. This really is the best way to go about things.

  • tais

    August 15th, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    what happen if the parents doesn’t want to listen to her to talk about it and yell at her to tell her to leave her alone because she don’t want hear the bull**** .

  • TORI

    December 2nd, 2016 at 7:31 AM

    It happens to me because my dad just doesn’t want to listen to me. I don’t think he cares he’s never home and leaves me with my grandma and she is just like him.


    December 18th, 2016 at 9:48 PM

    my mom listens but my dad doesnt my dad is married now with another woman that i HATE and my 8 siblings and me are forced to stay with her and i want to stay with my real mom please anyone help

  • KJkiraC

    April 9th, 2017 at 5:58 PM

    im not shure were to go my mom is really weard and my dad i dont know would probabley send me to grandmas too thats not wat i want but my mom is soooo cray cray she dosent let me play 12+ but leats me watch vikings 16+/18+

  • bethany

    April 25th, 2017 at 1:54 PM

    well my mom never listens to me shes never home and yells for no reason. my dad left when i was little. i want to live with my grandparents cause they listen to me and they are there for me, but my mom won’t let me. :( :( :( :(

  • Tammy M

    August 18th, 2016 at 4:22 AM

    lisa that is good i theory but doesnt akways work as the other person is used to being able to control situations. plus you have to assume the other party is adult. in my case he is not. i have tried to reason with him to no avail. please people be adults for your children’s sake

  • Grace k

    August 18th, 2016 at 7:50 AM

    I tried to talk to my dad but all he does is ignores me

  • Kelly

    September 24th, 2016 at 4:52 PM

    My mum won’t let me leave until I’m 18 my dad recently passed away I did live with him but now I’m stuck where I don’t wanna be any suggestions ?

  • ally c

    October 5th, 2016 at 7:53 AM

    if your grandparents are still alive ask to live with them im a currently going through a similar situation

  • shannon

    November 9th, 2016 at 6:49 PM

    at 14 you can legally appoint yourself your own legal guardian you have to contact your local probate court

  • Max

    May 22nd, 2017 at 9:10 AM

    I suggest you try to tell another trusted adult or a counselor at your school so that they can help you try to work out the legal paperwork and help you talk to your mum.


    December 18th, 2016 at 9:45 PM

    its not that easy my parents always fight about money and i have 8 siblings they are officially divorced now and they are basicly fighting for us

  • sarahphenia

    January 13th, 2017 at 11:07 AM

    dear DARA,
    i hear what you are saying i do not belive that the kid should live with the dad. whatever court house she is going to needs alot of help!!! if i was in her shoes i would not allow my son to see him

  • Jemma

    March 16th, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    I think so like what. Like cha Ching mofo

  • Z

    November 5th, 2017 at 5:35 AM

    My mother has custody of me and I want to live with my dad when I bring it up she says “I am just not comfortable with you living with him” and then walks away but I am scared to bring this to court because , well I don’t know because what if she has to spend a lot of money on a lawyer and I still live with her. She does not want the best for me she just wants the child support and she kind of cares about me i guess but I would love to live with my father.

  • steven a

    December 13th, 2017 at 6:10 PM

    I feel your pain. this is happening to my beautiful babies they begging to live with me. but their mom is taking advantage for different states.

  • Christopher J

    January 16th, 2018 at 9:12 AM

    I feel the same way i want to live at my dads and my mother is saying no. She is nice around other people but as soon as we are alone she becomes abusive and screams at me. She only wants me for money. My dad is nicer and understands how i feel. I have a sister that i have grown up with since my mom let me visit my dad in 2009. I usually only see my sister every other weekend when i am able to go to my dads. At my dads i also have a stepmother that i love and care for more than my real mom. We really connect.

  • Emily

    March 5th, 2018 at 2:29 PM

    My Birth mom wants me back and I do to Im I able to choose which Family I want. My Adopted family wont let me and every time I bring it up to them they say “No you can’t and i won’t let you.” So if you have any news about this or anything that might help me out please answer me back i really hope that I can move with them now that they have an house, money, and they have plenty of space for me there.

  • Lisa f

    December 2nd, 2017 at 9:02 AM

    That is right in some cases but if one of the parents are unstable or not fit to be a parent, kids should be able to decide for themselves. I am currently in a similar situation with my parents and I feel that I should be able to chose which parent I want to live with.

  • Suzanne C.

    July 25th, 2018 at 12:38 AM

    My grandson 14 is wanting to go live with dad. They have been divorced since 2008. Stepdad is drinking and telling my grandson to move out go live with is dad. Stepdad and mom fuss alot, stepdad drinks. Parent have 50/50 with mom primary. Please help me save my grandson.

  • genevieve

    April 17th, 2019 at 3:44 PM

    my mom has kept me from my dad… she said im never moving with him. but I want too.

  • angelina

    December 3rd, 2019 at 8:54 AM

    what happens if the parents are supposed to talk but they ask to kid to transfer messages what should i do

  • Laurie Smith

    June 3rd, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    I think it’s really unfair of any parent to decide to let the child choose. Okay, as you say that’s not exactly what happens but even to expect that of them is too big a burden to put on young shoulders. It’s like saying “tell us who you love most” and putting them in an impossible situation.

  • Cbigg

    September 11th, 2016 at 3:55 PM

    Ok but when a child is 8 and has the mentality of a adult and the parent wasn’t there for him for 8years then there is a difference. This child has been raised by his grandparent since birth and all of a sudden after7 years she wanted visitation(which no one ever refused her). The child begs me to bring him home to the only home he has ever known because he is always scared of her husband and has no bond with his mother. Nobody will listen to this child who desperately wants to b heard. He never got in trouble at school like he has since he has lived with his mom. Now where is justice for this child? There is none and that’s not right for the child.

  • Ameenah

    November 17th, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    It’s a Florida law that says grandparents do not have parental rights and it needs to be changed. I know what that kid is going through. Someone please help.

  • Zachary M.

    June 3rd, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    I don’t know why parents would think that’s a good thing anyway. Deep down they both know who is best for the child to live with and would take the best care of them.

    Do they seek to absolve themselves of the responsibility of both the decision and/or the child?

    Either way, that sucks. Children just aren’t mature enough to make that call.

  • r y an

    September 12th, 2014 at 3:21 AM

    Do you have any children?
    Have you given up almost everything for someone besides yourself? Have you had your children cringing and your son’s Dr told by mother that he has not seen me in 6 years so she can get his adderal and the weekends I get him she won’t give me his meds for those days. Is that even legal, she moved 73miles away uprooting kids and I’m disabled vet so having to pay to drive both ways to get them if I want to see them. Also mother records all calls between us with no good reason
    Is this legal for her to do this with joint phy/leg custody without my consent to add meds and the move that makes enforcing court order iimpossible. Is this ok with the judge? Never asked court or me to move either

  • destany

    June 15th, 2016 at 8:04 AM

    no I do not have children how about you??????

  • Char

    June 15th, 2016 at 7:19 PM

    I’m sorry…ITs amazing what the other parent will pull just for self benefits…

  • Ken.L

    June 3rd, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    If the parents have a conflict over who gets to keep the child and if the child is old enough and matured enough, then I think it is perfectly alright to let the child decide.

    It will at least prevent the child feeling suffocated with a parent he didn’t want to end up with..

  • Unknown

    July 1st, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    I agree! Because what if the child really does wish to live with… say the father but the parents were unsure and were just gonna stick the kid with the mother? That puts greif on the kid and if they would have just asked they would have been able to avoid it. That`s how i see the situation any way…

  • Marisa

    July 8th, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Hi I’m a 14 year old girl and I want to move in with my dad because
    My mother is never home She Always out with her boyfriend
    She does not go shopping She has some anger issues that she won’t deal with
    She works and then spends all her money when she goes to a restaurant
    And she doesn’t pay attention to my younger brother
    Those are only a few reasons why I want to move in with my dad
    Plz tell me your thoughts

  • Bree

    November 28th, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    Marisa, my step daughter is 11 and wants so badly to live with her dad. I am sorry you are struggling with this. She lives with her grandparents where her mom is in and out of town constantly yet hasn’t taken her to get school clothes and it’s almost December. We are trying everything we can to help her have a voice. She is much more reasonable and logical than her bio mom. You are 14 and old enough in most all states to speak with a judge if you can possibly ask your school counselor or a teacher you trust for help. Readers: don’t underestimate kids. They understand a lot more than they are given credit for.

  • ryanne reid

    June 4th, 2011 at 4:31 AM

    Kids are just that- they are kids. That means that they do not necessarily know best even when they think otherwise. Choosing which parent that they should live with after going through a divorce is a huge responsibility and NOT one that most of the are going to be equipped to make. Think about the fact that they may not be able to put aside the hurt and even the guilt that they too could be feeling and be expected to make a rational and mature decision. Not that the adults involved will always be able to do that either but I think that they stand a better chance of doing that than children do.

  • Bree

    November 28th, 2016 at 10:15 PM

    It all depends on the maturity level and logic of the child. My step daughter is lonely and depressed but we can’t help yet because we don’t have the money for a lawyer. It’s sad that money comes before a child’s wellbeing.

  • Y. Levitz

    June 4th, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    @Laurie: They do it so they can throw back in their ex’s face how the kids wanted nothing to do with them and they knew mommy was the better parent.

    Of course mommy had spent plenty of time coaching them in secret about that before it all came in front of a judge.

    My ex sure had a game plan and she executed it like a pro. I wish she’d put half the effort into our marriage.

  • deliachambers

    June 4th, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    Actually, in some places, if a child is above the age of 14 I think (?) I’m fairly sure they are legally able to choose which parent to be with in all but the most extreme circumstances.

    However, I think that any child should be able to choose what parent to be with. Breakups are traumatic and it’s one thing they may feel they have a degree of control over.

  • Denny Hathaway

    June 4th, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    Forcing a child to be with the parent they don’t want to be with isn’t right either.

    If I was a teen and made to go with a parent I actually decided years ago I wanted nothing to do with I would act up, embarrass him constantly, and make sure that he knew I hated him.

    Where’s the good in that? Everybody’s unhappy then.

  • Scarlett

    June 4th, 2011 at 11:58 PM

    Kids choosing which parent to be with is not a good idea whatsoever.Younger kids do not have the mental maturity and analyzing power to decide and in case of older kids chances are that they have already moved out or at the college…

  • Doug Adams

    June 5th, 2011 at 3:50 AM

    No !!! This is not a decision for a child to make.
    I bet that a lot of parents want to put this on the kids so that they do not have to be the bad guy but this is not something that a child should have that kind of responsibility for. Children need for parents to step up and make a responsible choice as to which parent can provide the most stable home life and leaving this to the children to decide is an invitation for trouble. And what happens when the one parent makes the child angry? Just let him up and move? No, that’s not right.

  • Hailey

    July 15th, 2018 at 9:18 PM

    I believe that a lot of parents that I know that are divorced have certain reasons why they will not step up for their child. If these parents are unequipped to step up than why should a child not be able to choose where to live? Most children are smarter than we give them credit for and notice more than we think. You should probably think about other situations where parents are unfit to parent their children such as, physical abuse, emotional abuse, overwhelming mental illness, and much more.

  • Madelyn Walls

    June 5th, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    @lisa Yes, yes, more yes, and yes. Parents should stay together and get off their high horses for the sake of their children. What happened to sticking together and putting a face on it for the sake of the family??

    Get a divorce once the last child has moved out and can fend for themselves. If it still falls apart, it’ll be obvious to the older and wiser children who the bad guy is and they will be eternally grateful that you waited.

  • mia

    June 6th, 2011 at 4:33 AM

    I am going to have to say that depending on the age and maturity level of the children involved I see no problem with allowing certain children to have a voice in this kind of decision.
    I think that a lot of times in divorce and custody situations the kids feel disregarded and unheard. If you know that this is something that your child can sit down and reason out with you and your ex, then why not allow them to have a say so? Don’t use them as your own personal pawn.

  • Bree

    November 28th, 2016 at 10:18 PM

    Thank you for this. My step daughter has been used as a pawn for three years now. I want so badly to rescue her.

  • KJP

    June 7th, 2011 at 4:45 AM

    Plain and simple, this is not a choice that a child should make.
    They can make all kinds of decisions for themselves but asking them to choose between one parent or the other is not something that most of the are emotionally ready to do.
    And you as a parent also have to think about whether or not you are ready to accept the choice that the child makes if it does not go the way that you are hoping that it will.
    Be sensible,be fair, and work with the ex spouse to make the right decision for everyone involved.

  • Maude Bryce

    June 9th, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    @Madelyn Walls: Except most couples who are ready to go through a divorce are already a wreck and they can’t take it anymore.

    They are incapable of pretending everything’s fine which isn’t a good idea anyway. That just makes the whole situation worse and if they would have been thinking about the kids first, they would have solved their problems ages ago or split up amicably.

    You are not fooling your kid when you “put a face on it”!!! They can feel the negative energy even if you don’t utter a cross word in front of them.

  • bernadette mccabe

    June 11th, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    I think the child should have the final say, because parents– usually the mother–will come up with every single lie in the book to blacken the dad’s name so she can get custody. The legal system when it comes to divorce is already biased against men.

    And I’m saying that having watched both my brothers go through horrendously costly divorces, both financially and emotionally. The only good thing is that they are away from those hellcats.

  • Rowena Fowler

    June 16th, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    @Laurie That’s correct. However when you’re splitting up, they have to go with one of you. I think the best option is to let them know they can arrange to go see the other one whenever they want (assuming it’s a friendly split and there’s no risk to the child in doing so).

    That means they won’t feel they are being forced into a completely life-changing decision right off the bat. They can ease into what’s a very big transition for them then if you maintain a little of that stability.

  • Estelle Webster

    June 19th, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    The children need to be involved in the decision. It concerns them, it’s about them and it’s about their future. To deny them involvement is selfish and you’ll regret it later on.

    Make a rule: if our son/daughter wants to discuss it with either of us in private, they can. If we want to discuss it with him/her in private, we can’t.

    That way neither of you can be accused of influencing them later on.

  • Shendl Tuchman

    June 24th, 2011 at 8:23 AM

    Thanks so much to all of you for commenting on my article. It seems there are many opinions about the decision-making rights of children in a divorce. One problem seems to be the potential for parents to try to influence or appear to be influencing their child. It is difficult when a parent is not “chosen” by their child and it is also difficult for a child to live with the choice they thought they had to make over which parent to live with. As I mentioned in the article, it is my experience when these children become adults that they have to deal with the feelings about choosing one parent over another. It often has a long term impact on their relationship with that parent.

    It is my belief that the job of parents is to make the difficult decisions for their children and to provide an environment that fosters their ability to have an ongoing and healthy relationship with both parents. I understand that this is not always available. However, it is not the child’s job to fix the problem. Very often, children who have this experience become adults who believe it is their job to take care of everyone but themselves.

    Allowing children to have their thoughts heard is important. It matters, though, how that happens. I believe one of the ways this works is to have a neutral mental health professional involved so the child is not concerned, or as concerned, about being disloyal to either parent. Usually children want things to be fair. This is often a difficult thing to accomplish in a situation that is not defined by fairness. But, their voices should have a place even while they do not have to shoulder the burden of making a decision.

    Thanks again for all your comments.

  • CS Geier

    September 15th, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    I know FOR A FACT that in Georgia, a child of 14 CAN choose and their choice IS CONTROLLING unless the parent of choice can be deemed UNFIT by the court. I do have an attorney, Tom Camp of Athens, Ga, and my daughter just signed the papers to submit to the judge.

  • Tammy F

    June 6th, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    So, when I divorced my ex husband, I left my son with him and we have joint custody with him as the custodial parent. My son is 15.5 and has been asking for the last 2 years to come and live with me. When I mentioned it to my ex and his wife, they both laughted and said ” that will never happen”. Well, my son now is very serious in his desire to be with me. Originally I chose to leave him with his father because, at the time I didn’t know what I was going to do or where I was going, I am extremely settled, re-married to a great guy (whom my son loves) and his reasoning is that our place is more “calm” and that as he is getting older that the extremely rural school he lives in is getting worse and teachers are leaving because of this. So, he figured he can get a better education down where I live and opportunities for after school or weekend jobs where he would not in the small town he lives in. He knows his dad will be sad, but he also has said he is afraid of his reaction and wants to make sure he is with us when we do serve the papers for the change to happen. In this case…would you say a judge would see fit to him coming and living with me? I have heard many things and I don’t know what to believe any more.

  • Susan

    August 12th, 2016 at 8:07 AM

    I live with my boyfriend of several years and our seven month old. He has a 12-year-old girl and the 15 I’ll boy from his previous marriage that he shares 50-50 custody with. His daughter is extremely needy and her father agrees to take her at any time even when it’s the mothers time to have her. He tells her she can do whatever she wants stay with him or go with her. 99% of the time she will stay with her father. Meaning me. I find this a bit unfair as I believe he is enabling her to not have a relationship with her mother. All parties get along quite well but she would be with us seven days a week if I let it. The only claim she has is that her mother doesn’t do as much with her as we do. Her father is under the impression that her being 12 she is allowed to choose who she would like to live with. I disagree. It’s not that I don’t like having her with us but I do feel as though she needs to develop a relationship with her mother and it’s not up to her father to decide that. She is 12 years old and her father encouraging a relationship will build a better bond. I believe he enables her to be needy by giving her whatever she wants and that she will become a needy teenager and potential he adult without a little bit of Toughlove. Meaning doing things on her own or letting us have some alone time or finding friends to do things with. Help is greatly appreciated on whether I’m completely off base!

  • Paul

    September 14th, 2016 at 2:48 AM

    My son’s mother leaves him with his great grandparents most of the time they are in their 80s, and they are very restrictive, and make him follow a faith his mother doesn’t follow. When my ex stopped me from seeing him for nearly 3 months and I had to take her back to court, the first time I picked him up he was over the moon, I took him to an indoor play area and chased him around and played games with him for hours, the first time I tickled him it was almost as if he had forgotten how to laugh, he often tells me he wants to live with me and on the second weekend after the recontact when I was dropping him off, he held onto me and cried telling me he didn’t want to go back there and that he wanted to go with me. His mother is trying to force him to call her second boyfriend since the separation “dad” as she did the first, she has only been with him 8 months.
    I think that if the child will be happy and well cared for then they should be able to decide.
    That’s the bottom line, it is about what the child wants, and so long as he will be safe and well then those should be the only considerations.
    She also tries to poison him against me.
    For any that say that all parents should think about the child does not realise the malace, vengeance and selfishness some people are capable of, not to mention that some parent are reminded of the ex partner every time they look at the child.

  • Marie Thompson

    June 27th, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    This is a difficult decision to make as a parent, more as a child. But it gives the children a voice. They shouldn’t make the final decision, but their concerns should be heard!!! I wasn’t given a choice, I ended up with my Mom, which was the best situation for me. But being rejected by my father has more negative affects than being involved in this decision.
    Divorve is`devastating on the children, no matter what you do.

  • Georgia Family Rights

    March 3rd, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    I only agree, if the child is of age ( 18 years old, or whatever the age is in GA which is 14) I also agree that it does put a burden on the child if he or she has to choose which parent he or she should be with.. This is only if the child is capable of making such a decision. If they have lived with the Mom for so long, then I think it should continue on like that. Just depends on the situation at the time.

  • Alysia

    March 27th, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    In my case, I do think it would be nice for my son to have a choice. He is 7, he came home last summer and confided in my younger brother that there was drugs at his dad’s house, his brother let him watch pineapple express(movie with a lot of referrence to marijuana), his brother is hiding drugs in a safe between the walls, he was being made to sit and watch porn with his 5 year old neice, and being made to take drags off his older brother’s cigarettes. Not to mention he drew a perfect bong for the police officer, and told him exactly where it was at his father’s house. He clammed up and wouldn’t repeat any of this for child protective services after the police took a report. I think in part to the fact that someone let his dad talk to him after he had told the police, but before we talked to CPS. Now he just keeps saying Dad and ___ (older brother) still have/do drugs. He won’t take it any further than to say that and also that his 5 year old neice harrasses him by repeatedly asking him to have sex with her…
    AND CPS won’t do anything because the statement was not made directly to them. AND HIS FATHER LIVES ACROSS STATE LINES TO FURTHER COMPLICATE THINGS.


  • MrsOzzz

    April 9th, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Going through this right now, daughter refuses to go, will be third time have gone to court for supervised visits with her dad due to alcoholism, she is now 13 and says ” if he can’t be sober and try to see me more than when the court orders, he doesn’t deserve to”.Last dec she found him passed out in car at 1 in the afternoon, she is disgusted by whole situation. Her step dad is her world has been for 6 years now, so guess you all think she doesn’t have the right to choose, good girl, straight A, Junior Honor Society, ball game starter, couldn’t ask for better daughter, darn right she can use her own mind and choose. Her attorney Ad Litem is on her side.

  • Marie

    April 16th, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    I never got to choose even when my mom was the better parent. It was bad when I has told I would have to live with my dad. To mom and dads out there, don’t (try) not to be all screaming and go crazy I was 11 with no choice and I was freak out all I knew was my mom was screaming saying you’ll never get the kids and woooooowwwww I wanted a choice and now I am 14 and haven’t seen my mom since 12 cuz she is dead. Now I have to stuck with my dad.

  • Geoff

    May 2nd, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    I’m going through this right now. After 3 years of our kids living equal time with both parents following separation and divorce, they want to spend more time living at their mums. It’s sad when you love your kids, want them to spend time with you, and you’re not the parent who initiated the divorce. But there’s not alot one can do when your kids are 15 and 12, except hope that they will come back.

  • Sarah

    May 12th, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    They will. Just give them time right now.

    Have faith in the relationship you’ve built with your children.

  • Sarah

    May 12th, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    What about great fathers whose children choose them? Why is everyone in constant favor of a mom who feels entitled to her daughter but who doesn’t take the time and effort with to build trust and/or a relationship with. Someone who, for seven years, has consistently made the issue harder for her almost 12 year old.

    What then?

  • Don

    May 17th, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Everyone talks about the best interest of the child, but what they fail to say is that the couple working things out for the sake of their family is what was in the best interest of the child. My wife moved out last November, she now live less than two miles down the road. For the first two weeks my soon to be 13 year old daughter thought it was an adventure living in two places, however soon the luster wore off. My wife kept saying that she would adapt to the new reality, well she didn’t. I finally put my foot down, when I forced her to stay over there and she called me every day in tears begging to come home. My wife has full access to her Mother and we share in taking her to her activities and sporting events. But she wants to force a square peg in a round hole; she wants to force her to spend the night at her place.
    My son on the other had has decided that he wants to live with his Mother, do I like this, no I don’t, but it is what works best for him right now. Should I drag him over to my house to there can be contention, because he does not want to be there.
    So I guess what I’m saying is when a divorce happens it’s like setting a bomb off in the middle of the room and then trying to tell everyone to go on as normal, well nothing is normal. I’m trying to make sense of a situation that makes no sense. Yes they are children, but they are also people with feelings, that are just as valid as anyone else. They are not pawns to be manipulated on a chessboard.
    Let me also just say that I know that there are people with a different situation than my own; I am only making this comment using my own experience as a reference

  • paul

    June 1st, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    Hi i,m going thru this now with my 14yrs twin boys and 11yrs daughter .. until last week they all lived with mum ( we were never married ).
    Last week my daughter of 11yrs decided during an argument to hit 1 of the twin boys with the blade of a knife ( thankfully no injured occured ) but my son decided that he no-longer wanted to live with his mum as his sister was not even told off.
    He called me and asked me to pick him up , i live about 27miles away from them but call everyday and my boys stay over on Saturdays …
    Anyway Jamie no-longer wants to go back as he doent feel safe yet his mum is now making efforts to take me to court to force him to go home , i even had her solicitor shouting at me during a phone say i must take him home . What a joke i,m trying to protect him and this money grabbing things telling me what to do with my son ……….I believe at the age of 14yrs children shud be able to express which parent they would live to live with but without promting .from anyone … else ……..his mum is a control freak instead of saying ok son lets just see how things go and taking a more relaxed approach she is alienatting our son to the point where he would never want to go back unless forced to ….she a wicked woman ..

  • YRoberts

    July 25th, 2016 at 8:04 AM

    Hey Paul, my husband and I are going trough a situation with one of his twin girls, who is 14. She has been wanting to move in with us since before they turned 12 but their mom said no and continues to say no. She cares more about the child support money than the kids. The twin has been with us almost a month now and says she does not want to go back home because she is tired of the way their mom treats them and doesn’t buy them the necessities because every time they want or need something she always tells them “ask your dad” even though my husband pays $1100 monthly in child support. She curses at them and there is always arguing going on in that house. The mom has threatened to send the police to our house to make my step daughter go back home, even after she has told her mom she wants to move in with us. She says that she doesn’t even want to talk to her mom and has had an altercation with her in the past. How can parents force their children to be in an environment they don’t want to be in? I would never do that to my children. It would hurt me yes but I would not want them to be unhappy with me and resenting me for forcing them to stay with me. I feel you on that one.

  • Annabell

    June 5th, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    MY nephew is only 8yrs old and has lived with his grand parents for 2 years. His mother scares him to the point of bed wetting, she is on drugs and is violent. What rights does he have to choose??

  • nicole

    June 11th, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    my step son is 14 and wants to move in with us and says his mom wont allow him to because she will loose her child support money which doesnt even get used for him. how to go about doing something about it

  • YRoberts

    July 25th, 2016 at 8:12 AM

    Nicole, we are going through the exact same thing right now with one of my husbands 14 twin girls. She wants nothing to do with her mom and does not want to go back home to her. She has been with us almost a month now and said if her mom tries to force her to go back home, she is going to fight her. My husband has told his ex wife that he is not forcing my step daughter to stay and the mom says that she doesn’t care what my step daughter has to say, she will come home and that’s the end of it. She doesn’t want to lose the child support he is paying her, so she has threatened to send the police to our house to make my step daughter go back home with her. How sad is it that parents will go over their children’s feelings just for an extra buck. I am praying about it and letting God take care of it for us. I hope your step son gets to come live with yall too.

  • YRoberts

    July 25th, 2016 at 8:13 AM

    I meant to say 14 year old twin girls.

  • Michelle

    June 11th, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    My son is 9 1/2 yes old. I have been divorced from his dad for almost a yr now and we were seperated 1 yr before we divorced. We have 50/50 placement and my son cries EVERY time he has to go to his dads house. He begs me not to make him go but there is nothing I can do. My ex wont communicate with me..he wont even pay for half of my sons medical bill or school lunch money. There is no child support ordered…technically because I make more I would have to pay him. My son is an emotional wreck and has been in counseling for almost 2 yrs. my ex has been asked by the counselor to come to a session and agrees to it but never shows up. Dad doesnt do any homework with my son and his school work is being affected. They had to get him special help. My son had many breakdowns in school because he isnt allowed to talk to me if he is at dads house.. my lil buddy told the counselor that he wants to hurt himself or run away when he has to go to his dads house….I feel so lost and unable to do anything to help him :( I have talked to lawyers and have been told that the courts wont even hear me until the divorce has been final for 2 yrs….what do I do????

  • Aaliyah

    September 9th, 2016 at 12:19 PM

    My dad is a full blown asshole he hates me and I swear he loves to see his children in pain. My parents have 50/50 custody and I cry everytime I have to go to my dads. I have breakdowns at school I fail test because of what my dad has said about me and I cry during school on the days he drops me off and makes me cry. He doesn’t even believe when I’m sick and or if I broke a bone with X-rays and doctors notes. He never pays child support but me and my mom always manage to work it out. My dad has a very high profiled life and he makes a quarter of a million dollars a year, and he drives around in his lifted chevy and thinks he is better than everyone. He talks crap about my mom and says very very terrible things to her on email they can’t even email without fighting my mom is always trying to do what is right but my dad keeps being a jerk. Please tell me what I should do??

  • The Team

    September 9th, 2016 at 12:39 PM

    Hi Aaliyah,
    Thank you for your comment. First, if you are in immediate danger, or if you are experiencing any type of physical abuse or assault, it is very important you call 911 or your local law enforcement immediately. To report abuse, please call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453). The hotline is staffed 24/7 by professional crisis counselors and has interpreters available to provide assistance in more than 200 languages. Childhelp can:

      Connect you with resources in your area to help prevent abuse
      Help you report known or suspected abuse
      Refer you to services or agencies in your area
      Help you by providing options for your specific situation

    All calls made to the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline are confidential.

    We are thinking of you and wishing you the very best!

    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • Shendl Tuchman

    June 12th, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Thank you all for your willingness to share your personal experiences. I know that it is often frustrating and seems unfair. Sometimes that is just what it is…frustrating and unfair. There are no perfect ways to end a marriage when there are children and problems like drugs, alcohol, etc. There are times when the voices of children are taken into consideration more than other times. And, there is not a one size fits all solution to any of these real life problems. You only have the option of working in the jurisdiction in which you live and hopefully with the help of an attorney you can trust while you keep in mind that the decisions about where children live is best made by the parents or, if that is not possible, by the courts.


    July 3rd, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    A child that is sent to live with a parent they don’t want to be with will be extremely unhappy. According to the Child support laws teenagers that are sent to live with a parent they don’t want to be with usually ends up running away. You have to consider the child’s relationship with the parent’s new spouse. It doesn’t always turn out like the Brady Bunch. There are evil Stepmothers and Stepfathers.

  • karen

    July 4th, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    How about young children who have never lived with the other parent, though have had lots of contact? My son is nearly 3.
    He loves spending lots of time with his dad, but has always lived with me. I know his dad is edging towards taking him to live with him!

  • karen

    July 4th, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    His dad also has a new woman in his life. She has two young children. They will seem like playmates, so attractive and fun for my son! I feel like I stand no chance! especially as he has the money, and I have none.

  • Kerrie

    July 5th, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    I know in my case, I have 2 step-daughters, age 13 and 15. Their mom has admitted that she only wants the children in her home so she can collect the child support money she gets for them(which unfortunately goes to support her boyfriend who doesn’t work). She has also said to not only my husband but my stepdaughters that they are a burden to her because she can’t do things she wants to because they are there. I could list so many things as to why my 2 stepdaughters don’t want to live with their mom and want to live with my husband and myself. So, why should a judge have the final say in circumstances as this? Their mom has even asked if I would adopt them as my own so she can move out of state with them but backed out when she found out she would lose all the money she gets for them. To her, they are only good to have around to get an extra “paycheck” every month. So, what to do? Should they be forced to live with mom because the court said they have to?

  • Hywel

    July 11th, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    In my Case, I AM the child so ill tell you about my situation im in, i come from a fairly well off middle class family , my parent have been split since i was in Year 4 , im now in year 8 and for all of that time i was always shared equay between the two houses and i was ok with that, i prefered my mum but dont really like her house, i dont realy lke my dad but i love his house (i grew up there) and its hard because my dad now has a gilfriend and my mu is freaking out becuase of it, the divorce isnt settled by the way , my mum still owns part of my dads house and so hates seeing his girlfriend going into tecnically her house , which i understand, but i am fairly quite and i never have howling screaming fit, i bottle it up as most kids do and have always found it hard to manage but quitely so my dads birthday came around and for everyones b-day we ALWAYS go out to a restraunt have a meal and go home , so when we dont and my mum sees dads girlfriend going up to dads house to cook him dinner she freaks out big time , i cool her down and we get home but i am too like her not to know how upset she is, my question is a 13yr old allowed by legal right to choose who he want to be with, i have decided and i want to know in plain english please,
    Thanks, Hywel

  • Alea C.

    July 15th, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    I happen to want to live with my father. My mom has had me for 13 years. She has payed little attention to me. She mainly sits on her computer or is in her room. When we have family things and we try and talk its like she didnt hear. We moved and it makes me very unhappy. Being with my father is fun and he doesnt know me very well. I will be going away soon. So I think its his turn. I think this is a situation where I can decide. I think a child should be where shes the happiest. But they need to consider that just cause the parent is more linient does not mean thats the one you want to live with. I am 13, I have spent a year thinking if living with my dad would be ok, I came up with the conclusion that it is. I love my mom, and know it will hurt her, but living with my dad will make me happy and give me the best advantage in life.

  • Bri M.

    October 21st, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    I know what you’re going through, I live with my mom. We just moved to South Dakota from Iowa City. I am really close to my dad and want to live with him. He still lives in Iowa City. I am not happy here at all. I feel really lonely here and I miss my dad soooooo much! We see him every other weekend but I don’t think that’s enough I just think it’s too long without seeing him. My mom is always angry for some reason. Sometimes if I say something I’m scared she’s going to freak out at me. I told her I want to go live with my dad but she says she’ll miss me too much. Which I really doubt because whenever she gets mad at me
    she tells me to go live with my dad. Me and my dad talked about and he said
    that it is okay with him if I go and live
    with him. I just feel really bad fOr him
    because I know how much he misses
    me and my brother and sister.
    Whenever we go back with my mom it
    looks like he’s about to cry. I really
    miss him.

  • Mel

    July 17th, 2012 at 6:03 AM

    As a child at the age of 12, nothing went my way. My parents continued to fight, I would get yelled at for no reason, i had to see a counsolour which basically sided with them and the thing that really tore me down was when my holiday house was sold. Now, i know many people would say ‘ not many people have a holiday house anyway’ but thats not what matters to me. I had that place since i was 3. and suddenly it was ripped away… so that my father could have money to buy a new house. and it was sold ALL behind my back. people told me he did it to make me hapier to not be with oth of them coz they fight… but i know deep down that he did it so he could get away from her… he did it for the benifet of his happiness. And now, of course he has also bought a house (not to far) without me knowing. i have an older brother who is 15 and im absoloutely terrified of the day when we move. Also my mum had to borrow $200,000 dollars from the bank because she needed to pay him because she is keeping the house. i find this unfair because he was the one who made the decision to move out.. and now my mum has to pay him :( when i was young i always wanted to be like this friend of mine, i wanted everything that she had… she was perfect, then her parents divorced and she had no say, she bottled it up and now her mum is getting re-married and she hates the guy, but doesnt wanna tell her mum coz it will upset her :(
    i know everyone says that whats happening with my parents is for the best.. but it sure isnt right!

  • Unknown

    July 18th, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    I believe if they’re level of maturity is strong enough and the behavior of the child is well they should choose. I’d say let them have a say in it at age 13 maybe 14. If I were that age I would want to choose too instead of being miserable. But when the child does choose you must still keep the regular schedule of visits or calls.
    Either way make sure your child is happy, that’s all that matters.

  • alanaTG123

    July 22nd, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    so my mum and dad got divorced and i am 11 so my mum got a boyfriend moved to england wich sucks cause im from Spain and everything in there ive been to childline and they told me that i can do something about it and i can take it to court so since i ,moved to england ive been searching and puting evidence in wor document from websites that say that im allowed to choose and stuff also information about it ,so i told my mum if i could go to court and she said no im not letting you u have to stay with your mum and i had a massive discussion about it she is being selfish and only thought about her she wants to have me but i want to be happy and if it means not being in england and not being with her then its fine i hate my life there my step dad is an idiot shouts at me and is really horrible . also he is a total stranger to me compared to my dad .so i really think kids should have the right to have an opinion and take a part on something that is afecting them or has something to ndo with them but i also think it has to be considered but also the parent that the kid wants to be with has to be capable to take care of the child and must have good conditions to have the kid.
    so mums dads dont be selfish when you are deciding it take the kids point of view because is their life you are dealing with.

  • Steve

    June 15th, 2016 at 6:16 AM

    Why not let the kids be happy as long as that kid is taking the right path and making the right decisions that you are trying to get him to make and not going down the wrong road if it makes it kid happy upon him or her wants to live with that should be it as long as he or she isn’t messing up and wants to do better by living with the parent he or she chooses to live with there should be no problem just as long as they continue to stay on the right Road and make the right decisions by living with someone that makes them happy because then they grow up happy

  • Joe

    July 22nd, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    What if I have lived with my mom ever since they got a divorce and my mom always told me how much of a “bad” man my father is but as I got older I see how my own mother is a bad influenc and she was lowing about my dad and I want to live with him so then where do we go from there?

  • Patricia

    July 23rd, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    What about the children who are being abused mentally, verbally but not physically enough to have marks? What about these children who beg to be taken away from the parent who is causing this abuse? The society has sure scared DCS (Dept of Children Services) to take any action and that’s why at times children die. I think those children know what’s in their best interest and beg for someone to help only to have their cry’s unanswered. Most people who have not experience abuse have no idea the devastation that I am speaking of. Those children deserve to speak and to be heard.

  • Sunflower

    November 3rd, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    Am a grandma of a 9 yr. old granddaughter. She experienced physical abuse when she was little and couldn’t say much about it because of her age and lack of vocabulary. Now the mother mentally abuses her with nasty language, is always mad about something, screaming and yelling at her and her siblings. This abuse has cost this beautiful girl Joy that she should have at this age. She desperately wants to live with her father who is kind and patient with her and gives his time to her. She says her mother does not do anything with her or take her anywhere, also says she can go all day without eating anything. I asked her why would you do that and she replied that sometimes her mother does not fix anything to eat. There are two 3 yr olds and a five yr old besides her in the home! She cries every time she has to go back to her mother, she has withdrawn from any social situations and does not want to be in sports etc. The stress that this is causing in her gives her stomachaches headaches and other physical discomforts. The mother has 50% of the time and the father has 50% of the time, the only reason she gave 50 to the father was it with an agreement that he would still pay full custody Support which he is doing. Have gone to court multiple times as has the new husband who is also getting a divorce and is trying to get his 3 children out Of the home also. The mother is bipolar split personality and dangerous, we have witnessed it. The poor children are suffering and it’s like nothing can be done unless there is blood and or bruises etc. Mental abuse is as if not more damaging in some respects, children in these situations desperately need help. The legal system is so messed up !

  • Tasha

    March 14th, 2018 at 9:02 AM

    I completely understand where you are coming from! My 10 year old daughter has been diagnosed with depression and it kills me to watch. It’s a helpless feeling. Everytime she goes to her fathers place she is called names and put down and made to stay in her room with her sister unless he’s hungry and they have to cook for him. I have been through Children’s Aid and they say it’s not physical so the only thing I can do is keep calling them so they see a pattern in his behavior and to make it the best possible when they are with me. It’s not fair!!! The legal system states that my little ladies aren’t old enough to decide what they want. However my daughters have come forward with what goes on, and still nothing can be done. I was told that if I keep them from him I could be in held in contempt.

  • Chrissy

    July 29th, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    I have two nieces, nine and four. They’re mother parties and sleeps around. Usually with guys who hit her. My oldest niece has witnessed this multiple times. She is extremely controlling and verbally abusive towards my brother. She used to lock herself in the bedroom and tell me to take care of HER kids. He finally got away and is living in Florida now. They’re visiting and having an amazing time. Both my nieces have told everyone they cant wait to live with him. I think even though they are so young, they should be allowed to chose.

  • Brenda

    August 7th, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    my parents have been divorced for 7 years so far im 15 and my brother is 13 and my sister is 8 and we would like to live with my dad but we cant because my mom thinks we have so much frredom at my dads when its not actually like that i love em both but i dont know if living with my dad is good or living with my mom im so confused.

  • Luisa

    August 14th, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    im a 13 year old girl & my parents got divorced when i was 7 years old , my mom decided to come live at utah since march , so because i didnt wanna go to utah i stayed with my dad. & i came to visit my mom & i’ve been here for 2 weeks & now i wanna go home but my mom doesnt let meh.. do i have any right to choose where i want to live?

  • tired of the baloney

    September 12th, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Kids absolutely should get a say. Especially when the father has a long history of domestic violence, drug dealing, drug abuse, tax evasion, welfare fraud, and is unemployed and living with his momma at 40. So, so tired of hearing all the baloney saying that women are lying. When the truth is that the father beats the crap out of you and still gets unsupervised visits. When the child is scared to death and the court still forces them to go to the father’s there absolutely should be room for the child to be heard. When there has been documented and severe domestic violence father’s shouldn’t even have a say as far as I’m concerned. Enough crap about those wonderful father’s getting screwed tell the truth.

  • Sha

    December 7th, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    I am a mom who signed over custody because I had a bad depression because during the divorce my mother died. My daughter just turned 12 today and her father had agreed she could come live me. Then he said no. Then we had a meeting again just him and I and her. He agreed and said it was her choice. Every visit she begs me not to take her back. With my son and daughter and his wifes kids its a total of 5 kids which none get along. I am not sure what to do. I can’t afford an attorney right now neither can he. So is it legal to not make her go back. He verbally abuses her, says awful things about me, hurts her emotionally. I am so upset. I need help. I’m in Oklahoma

  • Shendl Tuchman, Psy.D.

    December 7th, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    So many of you have experiences that have been extremely difficult for you and for some continue to be. Please know that while I work on a regular basis, in California, with families that have very similar stories to you, I cannot offer individual advice about what you should or should not do. In many areas, there are services available if you cannot afford an attorney. Unfortunately, that is not true for the places all of you might live. Some of you are children asking for help. If you do not feel you can talk to either of your parents, hopefully there is an adult in your life you can turn to for support.

    Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences for children and adults. For some if feels like a death without someone actually dying. I wish each and everyone of you the ability to get the assistance you need in the states and countries in which you live. In my area, there is an organization called Legal Aid. There may be a Legal Aid or Legal Aid type organization where you live. Please contact them to find out what your options are.

    I wish you all the best.

    Dr. Tuchman

  • Egag

    December 18th, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    I think i should have a say in my family instead of being yelled at by my mom and threatened by my dad about my grades i should be allowed to decide where i live and im 13 its a nightmare with my parents and there not even married never was either.

  • Michele

    February 10th, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    I have a son that I’ve raised since he was 5, he just turned 10 and has been living with his dad and dads girlfriend and her daughter since in South Dakota, I live in Georgia. I only get to see my son every summer. I get one holiday with him, Fourth of July. I haven’t been able to have a birthday party for him, watch him open Christmas presents, in so many years. I know he loves his dad and his dad is good to him but the girlfriend and her teenage daughter not so much. There’s always someone babysitting him because they both work til dinner time. I just feel that’s time I could be with my son helping him with homework and he can be with his brother. He calls me crying because he misses me so much and I have talked to him about the age thing… He said it will be the hardest decision of his life. I totally understand. How can u choose between your mom and dad and u love both?? I want my son back with everything I have in me, but I don’t want to make his mind up for him. I just don’t know what to do I feel like I’m empty inside when he’s gone which is most of the year. He’s my baby. What do I do???

  • Dustin

    February 11th, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    I have a 15 year old daughter that lives with her mom…..well let me rephrase that….she lives with her grandfather….my daughter lives in california and i in rhode island. she had found me after 6 years of not knowing where i am becouse of her mother keeping her from me. my daughter has run away from home twice and is very unhappy living there. her mother cares more about her boyfriend (which her family all thinks hes a db) than taking care of my child. i am hoping that my daughter will go this route and get the ok to come live with me.

  • Jane

    April 7th, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    It really bothers me to read people saying that the courts favor men. This is far from the truth! And if you actually had any personal knowledge, you would know that! Not you heard, or your man told you he got screwed… PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE! I have gone through the worst nightmare of my life with an abusive man who made the kids and I suffer for over three years. No support because he kept on adjourning our trial date… kept everything in our house, kept our house,, repoed my car. Gave me nothing! My children are 13, 10 & 4. And the older two have feelings, they have EYES. They have seen everything and have been through it all. I recently have made the decision to move away from our small town to better support us and find some peace in my life. My children ( the older two ) have decided to come. I will now have to go back to court and fight him yet again. For the people out there that believe that children shouldnt have a say as to where they live… YOU ARE WRONG!I was a stay at home mother for over 10 years and supported my husband in his business. To now be forced to work min wage with teenagers. Borrow money off of everyone I know.. And you think that kids dont know this? GIVE YOUR HEAD A SHAKE! AND COMMENT ON THINGS YOU ACTUALLY KNOW ABOUT !!!!! But hey, he’s such a nice guy… poor him !! anyone care about the kids?

  • Howard green

    April 14th, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    my son lives with his mother and step father, my son is now ten. The last to weekend dropping my son off to catch a taxu home he has broe down and cried. this weekend he said he felt sick inside, he told me that his step father told him to tell me that he does not want to see me any more and if he dont he will kick him out on the streetlike his brother and sister.For some reason his mom is trashing his room and when he reyurns home she searches his pockets.THIS MAN AS KICED OUT HER CHILDREN FROM HER PREVIOUS MARIEG and abuse was given to both her children, Her children over six years ago also her mother sister and brother all hated me– understand able family stick together yes;now allof her family are behind me her two sons and daughter, mother ,sister and brother, she will have nothing to do with them now; Im worried about my son around this step father who cant step up to the mark, he now has two children of his own and favours them more and leaves my son out, sends him to his room, not allowed to have a phone or even to ring me, they say he can have these things when he is 18 years old; he his playing with my sons mind; thats not right; he just wants his own kids in his life, has proved by getting rid of her two sons and daughter; my son his ten now and he his doing this to a childs mind;; I WILL END UP GOING IN THERE AND————-YOU SHOULD KNOW WHAT I MEAN, PLEASE HELP ME HELP MY SON FROM THIS TORCHER FROM HIS STEP FATHER; My son loves his mom but hates this man.

  • Jane

    June 10th, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    To the above father with his son being treated badly at the mother and step father. I think you should go to court and see if there can be something done to help your child. This kind of thing is upsetting because you don’t want to cause problems. I tried to stay away from that and things got so bad with my daughter’s father that we all fell apart and then he ended up taking my girls. I should have gone to court in the beginning but was afraid of him. Now she doesn’t even have me anymore. I am fighting to get them back but its best to do something before things get worse. Just advice from someone who just kept hoping it would get better and made a mistake by not actively going after the problem!Hope it gets better for your child. They need both parents unless there is abuse then it should be a whole different story!

  • notyourbuisness

    July 4th, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I am tired of people saying that the FATHER is abusive or that the MOTHER lies…Really i mean cmon guys it can happen both ways its just that those labels(labels are stupid)are attached to the parent because that is what generally the gender that does that happens when one of the parents has

  • Johnthreewood

    July 30th, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    I think that most of us may (maybe not) agree that parents should “put aside” their differences, work for their “child’s best interest”, and put the child “first”. I also feel very strongly that children are children, and are not fully capable of making such decisions. They certainly are prone to being emotional, impulsive, and making bad choices as teens. The one think that comes to mind here is high conflict parents or parents who cannot easily see the “high road” because they truly believe that the best interest is for the child to live with them. Many times this is due to their belief that the other parent is simply a less healthy choice. They may very well both believe this. This is why I believe that the child’s wishes should be taken with extreme caution, if at all, in many cases.

  • troubled 13

    October 2nd, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    Okay well i hope one of you reads this and helps me /: I’m 13 years old and going to be 14 in March i was looking into this because i feel like crap when I’m with my mom yes she provides most of the stuff then my dad but at least he respects me. When I’m with her and i get in trouble she hits me or curses at me I’ve tried calling the police but she doesnt hit me as hard to show evidence so of course they don’t believe me.i wanna go live with my dad . I see him almost every weekend but its hard because we live in another town about 30miles from him and it’s hard for him cause my mom moved us out here like out of no where telling no one except my aunt. Also I’m scared to tell the judge i wanna live with my dad because my mom might hit me.another thing I’m scared of is the judge saying my dad cant take care of me and my little brother financially . Can anybody help me with this? I’d really appreciate it. Thank you .

  • marie

    March 18th, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    I’m in the same situation and everything that you’ve said there is the same thing happening to me and I understand you badly , but in just a little younger than you are though, and I only turned 12, 2 months ago , and it all started since I was 9.

  • Isobel

    January 10th, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    I live with both of my parents for different days of the week. My mom might be moving to a different country and I want to go with her. My dad won’t let me go with her though. He scares me sometimes and often hits me. When will I be old enough to choose which one to go with if I’m 12 right now?

  • Isobel

    January 10th, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    I for got to mention that my dad’s girlfriend is awful. She treats me like I’m 2 because her kids are really little. She is so mean to me and my mom. If I wear shorts to school and it isn’t really hot out she blames my mom. I can’t stand being around her.

  • Graeme

    May 9th, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    I know what you mean. I know how it feels and right now I hate her

  • Richman

    January 21st, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    It’s a reality that there are some bad, immature parents out there who should not have had kids in the first place. Forcing kids to live with one bad biological parent as a result of some arbitrary Court rule, is idiotic. If there is any sign bad behavior by or both parents, the Judge should order a full psych exam of both parents before assigning custody. This approach would save years of aggravation for the children and help clear the Courts of pointless motions.

  • heather

    March 17th, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    i have a 9yr old that is very unhappy when he has to go to his dads house. when he is at his dads he calls me about 20times or more wanting to come home. he cries everytime he has to go to his dads.his dad dont do anything with him by his self. all he does is drink beer every weekend when goes there or goes out to the bar and leaves him with his 12yr old sister. so i think he should be aloud to choose to live with me if he is that unhappy and dont like going there. he said mommy can i choose when to go to my dads? i said no and he got treally upset with me. i hate seeing my vchild hurting and unhappy.

  • Chris

    April 18th, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    We’ll I have a situation where I’m 14 and my dad is having financial problems, but all my life I’ve had to struggle, that’s not the problem, I have a little sister that lives with my mom and she doesn’t have many people in her life and I wanna be in it, also my mom isn’t the best but she has back problems and I don’t know if It would be a possibility for me to live with my mom, I love my dad but I just don’t wanna be there, can anyone help me?

  • Chris

    April 18th, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Also I don’t want to hurt my dad but he took me away from her, she lives like 40-50 miles away and I see her only like 1 every 1-2 months

  • Diamond

    May 17th, 2014 at 7:18 AM

    Hi, my name is diamond. Im 16 years old. My Dad is not around he is very sick. And my mom is just a mess. She is stuck on her boyfriends and chooses them over me. So I just don’t have anyone but my grandparents. My mom is soon to be moving to Atlanta Georgia and she says I’m leaving with her. This is her second time trying this. It’s my junior year in high school and I refuse to go. My grandparents are the ones who takes care of me anyways so I don’t see What’s her big argument. She doesn’t do anything for me and she is very selfish. I dont know what to do. Help!

  • MzJacksonCO

    June 9th, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    Everyone has wonderful ideas, about this subject, however if I must be honest to let a child decide which parent to stay with is a problem egg waiting to hatch. I mean let’s be honest, most young adults(Pre-teens) or even teenagers would opt to stay with the parent that has less to NO rules. But is it fair to let them make that decision knowing that in today’s society for our young men, discipline, structure and rules are needed to keep them from Gangs, Jail, Cemetery!!! I am in the process of this very situation and let me tell you all something, I have had full custody of my children their whole lives, and I let them spend a year with their dad, and now when it is time for them to come home, the dad say’s, well I think the oldest is old enough to choose. And I am thinking to myself, He is not even old enough to keep up with his house keys. He has lost 10 in the last year. But at Dad’s no Discipline no chores, hard work, no respect, and yes dad will let girls come over and do God knows what. I will not allow my 14 year old, even if that is the age in Colorado make a decision that could alter his future in a major way just so that he does not have to clean his room, or the kitchen and bathroom. I will not back down, or give up. I will not let my Young men fall by the wayside because their dad may have hurt feelings. As soon as he can get together and come up with reasonable support we can do a joint custody thing. but until that time My boy are right where they need to be. Thanks

  • Rian

    July 17th, 2014 at 3:18 AM

    That isn’t the point of the law and I think you lack trust in your child. The judge checks to see if it is about that or about how they’re treated/the relationship with the parent. Not every teenager would say “Dad because I don’t have to sweep the floor”. Teenagers are more mature then you might think especially when reasoning about situations like this is taught in school/churches/programs all around the world.

  • Katelynn

    June 16th, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    My dad and step mom fight a lot, and my mom is dead. Do I have the choice to move in with my aunt? I’m 15 years old.

  • Charday

    June 24th, 2014 at 5:00 AM

    I am 16 years old my mother has a significant other whom she has been with since I was four. Besides that this man is very negative towards me and I wish to live with my biological father. How can this be arranged?

  • KaShanda

    June 27th, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    I’m 14 years old and I live with my dad (step mom and half sister). I have a mother that has (boyfriend and 5 boys 9-4). I have the right to pick where I live but, if I live with one I have to visit the other. For example, I live my dad so I am forced to visit my mother ever summer, fall, winter, and spring break. My mother is not a good mother. For example, she drinks all the time. One New Years left me surrounded by drunk people, yells, abuse me, full on hits me, makes me babysit, clean I mean full on clean house and everything, threatens me, smokes, and I have depression and an issue where I have gotten to many points wanting to kill my self so I don’t have to see her face. I have talk to a therapist and she says that it ain’t good for me to live or visit down at my mothers. I need to get out of here and stay happy with my dad. I need help, any advice ?

  • Support Team

    June 28th, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    Thank you for your comment, KaShanda. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • arianna

    July 12th, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    My name is Arianna. I am 14 years old. When i was about 2-4 years old and my sister about 1-2 months old, we were taken away from our mom, by our grandparents on our fathers side. They said she was “unfit” to raise my sister and i. We have been living with them since then. We really miss our mother, but every time we’d ask about her, they’d tell us negative stuff. I recently came in contact with her over social media about 3 years or so ago. I was asking her many questions on why she left us, and why she only decided to keep our brother and give us up. She was very confused on what i awas talking about. She told me that we were taken away from her, and everytime she tried to come see us, the cops were called and they denied her to come near us. I was dumbfounded about all of this. I was so mad and upset about it all. I never confronted my grandparents about it, because they aren’t the “sit down talk too type” and theyll get mad. So i kept it to myself. But they found out i was talking to her, and they took my phone and tablet, to keep me from talking to her. But that didnt stop me. I used my friends phones , and tablets so i can communicate with my mother. I didnt understand why they didnt want me to talk to her, i mean i thought i had a right too, afterall that is my mother. About a year later, i was sexually violated by my father and i didnt want to tell my grandparents because im not comfortable sharing anything with them, so i told my mother. She reported it and everything. But when Child Protective Services came out to question me about it, my grandparents acted all shocked and everything. They pretended to care. But when they left, i was being judged, and questioned. They yelled at me for not telling them about it. They didnt care about their son sexually violating me at all, they only cared about me telling my mom anything before i tell them. I havent talked to them about anything since. I feel i cannot speak what is on my mind, or how i feel about anything without being judged. They’ve called me names, threatened me, and everything. So i keep to myself like ive always done. Just recently , about a few days ago, my grandfather found out he had over 125,000 dollars floating around, but he cant get it without adopting us. He’s filled out the paper work and stuff online, and now we’re waiting for it to process. I honestly dont want to be here anymore, and i have told my mother i want to live with her, and she has aggreed that she wants me and my sister back. But i havent told my grandparents that when the judge asks me to choose between my grandparents or my mother, i am going to choose my mother. I am terrified of them and what they’ll say. Do you have any advice for me?

  • Tammy

    January 31st, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    I am in desperate need of some advise.. I have a 12 yr old son and 13 yr old sonthere father and I are recently going through Divorce. I have asked him several times not to drag our boys through this custody battle, I haven’t once discussed whats going on with them because I feel our children shouldn’t have to be involved because they are very confused, there dad is brainwashing them, to live with him and he talks bad about me to them telling them that they can go infront of the judge and tell the judge that they want to live with him and there grandparents who dont even see there grandchildren because they chose to but now that were getting divorced there father and grandparents are lying and I have proof of everything he put in the divorce to be lies there’s paper trails to prove how much he lied, he talks to our boys saying im not a stable mother but if that were the case He is a truck driver long hauls west coast hes gone for 3 months 2 months and while we are getting ready for court he is gone for a month in a half if he was so worried wouldnt he make sure they are not with me? So he knows they are very well safe with me..also when we lived together he went to Iraqi in 04 and came home on his two week leave I had just gone through surgery cocouldnt be left alone went with him to his parents got a call our house was on fire He told me before our boys were born that he ne how to get rid of someone without a trace and they would never suspect him I found that to be odd but just thought he was joking at first til he set the house on fire without my knoledge We were set up in a hotel he told me that he did it and if I was to tell anyone!!!!! That he would make me and my boys disappear I wouldnt care what he would do to me but my kids are my life I am protective of them because I love them more then my own life so now he wants them can they choose to live with him? They have no clue that there own father would of killed us if I was to say what he did he has money buys there love all I have is all my love to give to them..but there looking at material things which I understand because some do. What should I do? And can they choose knowing they’ve been brainwashed by him?

  • Katie

    July 16th, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Well if you get to decide, see if your dad can full custody and just remember you might not like your mom but you always have to love her she’s your mom I hope I helped I wish all the best

  • Dr. Shendl Tuchman

    June 28th, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    In the three years since I wrote this, I have received a number of emails from adults and children. The children have asked in many ways how to live with the parent they want to live with and not with the parent they are living with. Or how to avoid visiting the parent they do not want to see.

    This is a difficult and involved process that appears to be different depending on where someone lives, how old he/she is, the particulars of their family, etc. I am very sorry that it is not possible to address the questions in a way that says, there is a way to have what you want, please follow these steps.

    However, it is important to talk to adults in your family (both the parent who you want to live with and the parent you do not wish to live with or see). You may want to ask for assistance from other adults you trust to help you have the difficult conversations. Most important is to let someone you know, know about your feelings. The people who make the decisions about you, however, are your parents.

    If you are feelings suicidal or in any way needing some emotional intervention, please contact the organizations in the post sent by It is very important that you do not try to figure things out all on your own. This is true whether you are a child or an adult when you have overwhelming feelings. At the very least, you can ask a teacher for some help as they are often aware of services that exist in your community that might be able to help you.

  • Telisa

    August 14th, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    I have daughters the ages 16,15,14,13,12 they no longer wonta to live with there father too much abuse. If they decide to not return home to his house will there be a issue with the law? I pay him child support we have joint .

  • KAYLA89

    July 1st, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    So, I need some advice. Just to tell you a little about myself before you make assumptions… I am a 25 year old, no children, two college degrees; played college softball for my first four years. I am a Respiratory Therapist. I moved away from my family for college and actiully ended up staying in the state I went to school at. I am a recently engaged young women. We have been together two years; moved in with one another after a year. Things are great. With that being said… My soon to be husband has a child, he is 6 (will be 7 in october of this year). I love this little guy as if he was my own. We go to the park, read books, ride bikes, we do it all. My soon to be step-son’s mother and my fiance, Kyle, were together about three months and she ended up pregnant. I have been told by many others that she got pregnant on purpose, it’s like she picked randon person to get pregnant by, etc. I’ve heard it all. Kyle stayed with her half way through her pregnancy and decided to leave because she was lazy,” as he calls it. Which from what I’ve seen, she doesn’t work for months at a time, when she does work she it’s only part time, lives on section 8, and her parents still pay for majority of her livings. She is 30 (kyle is 31). They went to court last summer, 2013, because she wanted to up Kyle’s child support to $500/month. It went from being $350 to $500. the day she quit her job is the day she went to DHS for a child support re-advise. She also put in their custody papers that I am not allowed to pick up their son from school, day care, etc. Anywhere… makes things harder on us because Kyle goes to work at 6am and I work twelve hour shifts so I’m usually at work by 6:30am. On my days off, I would have to drive 12 minutes out of town to take his son to the grandparents, then they owuld drive back into town to take him to school. Ok, before any mothers judge… I understand not wanting some other women or anyone else driving their child around, especially their only child. I get that. But. at the time, I had been around for a little over a year on a consecutive basis. things get so frustrating sometimes… She is very controlling. For instance, I asked her to get their son to go to the water park. It was my day off so I took him and my friends other three kids. (I didn’t tell everyone that I worked in a day care with 6months-grade school children all through my high school years and I get my nephew who his my fiances sons same age for three weeks in the summer). Everything was fine. I picked him up from camp early and we went. We had a blast too! So, later that evening I said “hey is it cool to get him again next week, we had a lot of fun and he enjoyed it.” Of course, she never responded. Three days prior to the next water park trip I text her again, no response. So, the day before I text her, “hey I’ll be by around 10:30 if it’s okay to still get him. If I need to come earlier I will. She KEPT insiting on her droping him off ot me at noon! NO!!!! I had all this planned. He had a tball game that night so we were going from 11-3:30ish. Last time we stayed until 5 and bless his heart he was wore out! His mother kept on and on and on about noon. She said “if an hour makes that big of a difference then that’s ridiculous, I won’t make plans with you again.” I had my plans already and told her a week before… Needless to say we didn’t go. That really bothered me as wel. I sent her a message later that night: “It really bothered my that you made it hard for me to get Ryder (that’s the boys name) today. I told you for a week then a few days prior and you insisted on noon. (By the way she didn’t work that day and they stayed at home). I am just someone from the outside looking in but you kind of make it hard for anyone to get ryder. We ask to get him and you always throw in a comment like “we will see how the weather is.” Usually someone knows how the weather is going to be Jessica. Instead, you could say yes sure that’s fine or no maybe another time. You especially make it hard for Kyle because you always want to be in control and have to know every little detail, down to the T. Ryder has never been in harms way over here so it’s okay to just go with the flow sometimes. Ryder is getting older and is going to need his dad. He is a growing young boy. Him and his dad are starting to form a bond and they both need that.” There’s more to the text but that’s just the jist of it. Needless ot say she didn’t like that… the response I got back was “Don’t ever ask to get Ryder again. Don’t call me unless it’s an emergency. We will go back to square one where Kyle get’s his son when he’s suppose to and no extras with you.”

    There has been many other issues and things come up but this is the most recent one…She text me one day and asked if I could get Ryder a pumpkin for school and color it pink for breast cancer awareness week. Sure, love to. She proceeds to tell me make sure you don’t get ink on his shirt and make sure he washes off the paint on his hands. Really…. :-/

    I give up!!! Her and I have had our issues and my mother reminds me of the phrase “kill them with kindness.” And I do but it’s so frustrating whenever she is controlling and makes things hard. I love Kyle and Ryder to death and I’m not leaving. I’m here for the long run. This is my first marriage and I’m from south Texas, we say I do til death do us part! Anyone have any advice???

  • KAYLA89

    July 1st, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    And to add to this… After we get married next labor day, 2015, we are taking her back to court to have the child custody papers re-advised. We don’t think it’s right to pay her $500/month when she only works maybe 6 months of the year (and that’s the year she get’s to claim him on his taxes). We were thinking about asking to get Ryder every other week. So she has him a week then we have him for a week. She refuses to give Kyle joint. I know you can’t put a price tag on a child and we don’t. We explain to Ryder that money doesn’t grow on trees, you have to work for it, etc. Kyle and I both have great careers and explain to Ryder that you have to have some kind of goal/career if you want nice things in life. His mother is not a bad mom, she takes care of him but all I am wanting is things to be fair, share the expenses. My parents divorced after 15 years and neither one paid child support. We went to moms when we wanted and dads when we wanted. Of course, they didn’t let us use them against one another, even though we tried! They were cival.

  • Anon

    July 3rd, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    I have a 7 year old daughter that lives with her dad, because the courts said she should live there when I moved to oxford. The courts said that if I wanted to move with my daughter then I would have to provided an address and school placement and doctors and dentists. When I did all of these things they then favoured her father in court saying that I had pre emptied the decision before it had been made. As I had secured a house and new job I had no choice but to move. Now I have to see my daughter once a month. I have done this now for a year it’s not easy and I miss her terribly every day. I hope she won’t hate me for moving when she’s older. There doesn’t seem to be many other mothers living without there daughters out there. Why did the court do this I still can’t understand. I am not a bad mother!

  • arianna

    July 12th, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    I am a 14 year old girl, and i have lived with my grandparents for about 12 years. I havent seen my mother for over 12 years, but i really miss her. My grandparents took me away from her because they claimed she was an “Unfit Mother.” But they never proved her to be “unfit”, and now my grandparents are trying to adopt me, but i want to live with my mom….and i have reasons why i would like to live with my mom…will i have a say-so in court on who i want to live with? can you please help me and give me some answers?

  • Katie

    July 16th, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    You might I know in Indiana at 14 you can only state your opinion and then they may use some of it but I wish you the best of luck hope that helps a little

  • anon

    July 13th, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    I am having almost the same issues. I to am a woman whose daughter was ripped away from her by the father. If you would like to talk plz email me.

  • kat

    July 15th, 2014 at 12:06 AM

    We should talk. Abusive exhusband who didn’t work for 7 yrs I did. Blessed with a boy and girl 12 and 9. Haven’t went to court have joint custody but he keeps them . He lot our two and a new baby with his woman. Now they are humiliating me and slandering me on Facebook. When can my children choose to love with me.

  • devastatedMom

    July 5th, 2014 at 7:49 AM

    Faithful wife, stay-at-home-mom, endured husband’s alcoholism for 10+ years and fought for a sober husband/father (2 sons). Sobriety came at a price, which I paid dearly. As he struggled through his AA steps- a deep and searching moral inventory- the secrets of his childhood incest, his adultery in our marriage (incl. adultery with his brother’s wife) and his activity in porn shops with other men (I was sickened beyond describing)which happened while our sons were young. I tried to be understanding. I forgave. I asked for time to heal. But because I wasn’t in the bed with him… I just couldn’t, I needed time to get through it all, to heal. Two weeks was too long for him. He had a new woman on the hook, thought it appropriate to introduce her and her young son to our own 2 sons, and go Christmas shopping/do lunch altogether… we weren’t even divorced yet. And just prior to the start of this mess, my ex inherited six figures when an elderly friend of his died. I think it was a huge factor in him leaving me.

    Messy divorce. He alienated older son from me and the effects ruined our Mom/son relationship. I learned about verbal/emotional abuse, set my boundaries, relocated out-of-state with my younger son to a life with my own family, all the while enduring ex’s verbal/emotional abuse via text messages (we have to communicate for visitation, etc. and he always ends up attacking me). Early on, I increased my boundaries and had to limit how he communicated with me (text messages only,) to save my own well-being and peace.

    A year later now, my 16.5 yr. old son tells me he doesn’t really like his new, bigger school, misses his friends, dad, brother, and said he’s happier back ‘home’. He wants to go live with his dad. I’m crushed beyond anything. I’m sickened at how this will effect me. I feel so abandoned and betrayed, three times over. The Betrayer/Abuser ex is rewarded… and I’m left alone. Feels like my years of faithfulness, repeated forgiving and giving up establishing a career to be a stay-at-home mom were all for nothing.

    My older son rarely calls/texts me. I try monthly with texts, letting him know how much he means to me, etc. I feel as though I’ll die inside if my younger son leaves. I won’t be able to bring myself to ask for my ex’s cooperation re: visits, when all he’s done is make it difficult and beyond miserable for me when I tried doing the same to make sure my younger son got to go see him. My ex chose not to cooperate, attacked at every chance he could, and missed Spring and Christmas visitation- what his reason was, I don’t know. My son has no ill feelings toward him about that.

    Last night, my son said he’s been ‘alienated’ from his dad for four years. That’s not the case at all! He said here, he’s a little fish in a big pond, but if he goes back with his dad, he gets to be a big fish in a little pond. And that ‘his’ truck ‘will be put in his name soon enough’. I don’t wonder whose words these really are. I’m not the one with plenty of money, four-wheelers, hunting guns, or trucks to give away.

    Why does my abusive ex, whose core of integrity, honor, honesty, morals and values lacks so greatly, win the loyalty, respect and privelage of being the parent to live with and raise our sons, while I’m abandoned? Life can be so unfair, so cruel. I hope my son changes his mind and stays with me.

  • dottie

    July 17th, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    this scenario sounds exactly like me! I was divorced in 2001 and we had joint custody Of two sons. my ex is so controlling it was so manipulative and Cheated every chance he got. in 2008 my oldest son Lived with his dad because his dad was so Manipulative & controlling and I had rules. He alienated me from my son. I got sole custody of youngest son cuz judgevssid dad was controlling. Now my youngest us 16 in football snd GPA 3.68. MY EX PETITIONED for cudtody son said cuz i yell too mych to pick up his clothes. My heart is broke and ex vlauns verbal/emotiobal abuse whuch is nonsense. He is doing same thing he dud with oldesy son. I hope judge sees the truth. Other judge wrote in papers that dadd motive was to control wife wnd children now ex tryingbto get emergency order based on abuse. My son cried his eyes out when his dad haf him hand me papers that he git out of mail. I got them 11 days after postmark. his dad encouraged him to lie to me about skipping football

  • Kezza

    August 24th, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    I feel your pain and wanted to send my support to you. I know exactly how you are feeling and it feels awful :(

  • Kalie

    July 13th, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    I’m a child of divorced parents. I’m 14 an chose to live my dad. My mom has jumped man to man and she has let y sister run wild and my brothers mainly live at the babysitters. I think I made the right deviation. Recently my dad has changed he has become angrier and more controlling. He almost never let’s me go any where and if I do I have to clean almost the entire house to do so. I have become so close to my aunt it’s unbelievable. He understands me and cares about me. I wish I could live with her. Is there anyway that I could choose to live with my aunt??

  • Emily

    July 15th, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    Hey I am a 14 year old girl and I really want to live with my dad. My mum moved me and my two sisters from England to Australia when I was 8. My dad fought for is not to move but sadly lost. It’s been 5 years now and I’ve grown up away from my dad and entire family. Jobs are easier to get in Australia and when I’m a adult I will probably live in Australia to get one. I feel that I should go live with my dad and family to re connect as I’ve become distant over the years and that is not what I want. I am a very family loving person. I love my mum but I feel I can’t be myself around her and my sisters as they are quiet judgemental. I really want to live with my dad and see my family for these last years before being stuck in Australia to benefit my future I also want to discover who I really am in this critical age of self discovery away from the pressure of my mum and two sisters. My biggest problem is how do I tell my mum this without breaking her heart and feeling like I don’t love her, she still has both my sisters and my dad has lost all his daughters for a very long time. I’m scared that if I do this it could be a bad decision but I don’t want to not say anything and be stuck here always wondering what if? Y’know what do I say? Should I take a chance and be really happy? Could I always move back if it’s truly the wrong choice? Please help me I’ve had this thought for a long time now

  • Katie

    July 16th, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    Your mom will always love you my best advise to you is just explain to her she might not agree to it but she will understand. I’m going through the exact same thing right now I want to live with my dad and my mom wants me to move with her to Texas but all my family is here (Indiana). I was scared too but I just explained to her what I wanted and she might not agree with it but she loves me. So I think you should talk to her she’ll understand and maybe you could make a deal like I’ll live with dad for this amount of time and I don’t like it I’ll move back but if I do like it I’ll stay but over the summer and vacation I’ll see you. I hope my advise helps.

  • Rian

    July 17th, 2014 at 3:07 AM

    If both parents are abusive, then you can opt to live with your aunt. If your aunt is closer to a school you’d like to be in you can try that approach. It all depends on the details of the situation.
    In the abusive situation (it doesn’t sound like it is but in case), you would have to speak to your aunt about it and see if she could be an advocate for you so you could change custody.
    In the school (or relared) situation, you can tell your parents that you want to think about furthering your education or life style and hope they understand and come to a mutual agreement that that would be best for your future.
    Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    July 16th, 2014 at 7:37 PM

    I don’t get why you all are saying that. It really does depend on the circumstances. When I was in 4th grade, I was told that we were not choosing which parent to live with but rather the schedule of how we would go back and forth. After a while, going back and forth was a hassle for me and was the root of fights between my mother and I. When I was in fourth grade, I knew I wanted to stay in one place but my parents didn’t agree. It went on for years until I turned 15. My mother and I continuously fought mostly because she expected me, as the older child, to take on everything that my dad didn’t do while he was there. I virtually became her personal maid/punching bag. Verbally not physically. I moved in with my dad and I can honestly say I have ten times less stress and I don’t cry myself to sleep anymore so reading your comments is really upsetting because you don’t know me or any other child out there going through this.

  • Anon

    July 17th, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    I’m 14 years old and I would like my dad to have complete custody of me. I want him to have complete custody because I cannot stand living with my mother any longer. We fight constantly, and it’s only been getting worse. She also fights with my dad every day. She has hit me on more than one occasion and threatens me constantly (sometimes she threatens to hit me other times she threatens to sell the house or something like that). I cry my self to sleep everyday, and I experience a lot of stress which causes me anxiety. I also believe that my father has developed depression because all my mother does is yell at him and fight. I want to move out of the house and find an apartment with my dad, but I want it to be legal. I want him to have complete custody and for my mom to pay child support. I’m very scared that if we go to court, they’ll make me stay with my mom because my dad isn’t exactly rich. All he has is his retirement, SS check (which totals to around $600) and food stamps (which total around $120). I was thinking we could live with my god mother for a bit (she has an empty apartment). Please give me some advice

  • The Team

    July 18th, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Anon. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Kale

    July 18th, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    I’m a 15 year old boy and I hate how my mom had to leave from back home to come live over here in Arizona, I want to know if the older I am will I be able to go live my dad. I had visited him and he is the definition of a father he’s went to my summer games in Texas when I was there and my mother never does that and never supports my interests. All she cares about is herself and about my sister. I never feel like over here and all of my cousins live over there and I just love it over there I feel more secure. But my dad and mom get paid monthly and my dad has went to jail for child support. But my mom is saying she will win cause she has a boyfriend and then if you add it up she makes more money cause they both get paid monthly. I just wanna be with my dad and she always says that he is never there for me and now he wants me to live over there and now that he’s trying to be a real father she refuses. So I just wanted to know will court help? And how long does it take for a court date to be scheduled?

  • K

    July 19th, 2014 at 4:59 AM

    Dear Team:

    I received an email from my 10 year old son this morning, who is visiting his father out of state for the summer. His email stated that he would like to live with his father. I am having a hard time. I don’t want to be selfish, but at the same time, I am having those feelings. His father left us very early on and eventually came back only to leave again. His father says that even though our marriage/life together didn’t work, he still wants to be a father to his son. We live over 800 miles a part, as he moved there when he initially left. Though difficult at times, we have made it work with arranging visits and times to connect outside of the summer month stays. I thought this was very important and fought hard and long to help him see how important it is for him to be in his son’s life on a regular basis. Spending summers/holidays, etc. with his father and scheduling visits for the two of them and living with me during the school year has been the case for the majority of his 10-year life. I do recognize my son needs his father and that he is growing into the stage where he needs his father to be present and available as he transitions into his teen years. But at the same time, it’s so very hard. It’s been me and him all this time and although I understand my son and ex’s desire to be together, I am not sure if the timing is right. I am not saying no. I think I am just saying not right now…

  • Justin

    July 23rd, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    I have a 9 year old son. He came to me and said he wanted to live with me.. Because 1) “mom has had me for nine yrs and I think you should get time with me too”, and 2) her drinking is out of control… I asked him, “how do you know can you tell the difference between drunk mom and mom who has only had 1 or 2 beers?” He said,”yes she is definitely drunk when she can’t make it up my stairs…” I recently brought up the drinking to her and she of course denies all of it. Oh yeah and the smoking weed around him or in the same house as him… I tried to reason with her make it easy for everyone. But she wants to try court instead. Do I have a legitimate case what if my son clams up what then? All I know is that a 9 year old should not have to be around that!

  • christy

    July 25th, 2014 at 4:55 AM

    need advice my daughters fathers live in girlfriend has told my 13 year old daughter with out laying a finger in u I can make your life a living hell because my daughter did her chores and they weren’t up to her standereds she did tell her father because she thinks he will say she is lieing we share joint custody how do I get residencal custody because of the verbal abuse she is induring at the hands of her fathers girl friend she has a 15 year old son my daughter has witnessed her smacking him across the face please help

  • kris

    July 28th, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Unfortunately there is nothing u can do. Besides call child protective services. Explain to them you are worried. And if they decide to remove your kid and or her kid from the home they will some times it’s not about the child but getting the adult the helo they need. Maybe they were abused or hit as a child. More people need to think outside the box vs put all the blame on one person. And u need to talk to you ex about this as well. Maybe he can calm the gf down.

  • Shawn

    July 26th, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    Have a situation that has arouse and Im unsure as to where I stand in the eyes of the law. I have 2 daughters whom have lived with their mom in the state of ohio for several years and tend to visit me during the summer vacation. The oldest has decided to live with me here in the state of Florida. I’m pretty sure that a custody order wasn’t ever put in to effect but I was ordered to pay child support. My question is, is there any laws that would allow the mother to force her to come home or is she able to simply just say I don’t want to go home and I be allowed to keep her here in the state of Florida? If it helps, she is now 12 years old soon to be 13 and has technically been with me for 2 months…. Any resources or information would be greatly appreciated.

  • Christy

    July 26th, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    What can I do if my kids are scare to go with their dad?

  • Anonymous

    July 27th, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    I am 14 and living in Texas with split custody between my parents. I want my mom to have full custody because my dad is an alcoholic but im scared that he’ll hurt me or lie to the judge. I understand that i am a minor but i had to grow up and mature incredibly fast and i feel that it should be MY choice because im the one in the middle of all of this. I dont know how to get out of this situation and i dont know how i should talk to an attorney.

  • Anonymous

    July 30th, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    If you don’t want your dad to know you can send an anonymous tip to the police and your dad will never know it was you.

  • Nathan

    July 27th, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    I’m 16 and almost everyday me and my dad argue and he ends up yelling and i try to calm myself down and then he gets mad at me a lot for just trying to do and then he finishes what he says sometimes hes in the middle of it and i walk away cause i feel I’m going to start yelling again. But when my dad talks he raises his voice a lot and it comes out like idk what the word is but sorta offensive but is it possible for me to choose to live with my mom?

  • debra

    August 3rd, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Get amansapated ( legally a adult on your own) then you can live with who ever you want.

  • kaitlyn

    July 28th, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    I live with my mom I’m 14 years old soon 15 and my brother is 16. My father is deceased and we don’t want to live with my mom anymore. My sister is 25 is there a possible chance we could live with her. I’ve tried asking but my mom always says no and I cry I don’t like to be separated from her.i need help please get me to my sister. I don’t like being here my mom is always at party’s or at work or sleeping I always feel alone here at home. ): please help

  • Emily

    July 29th, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    I am tired of having a split week with my mom and dad. I miss my dad so much when I go to my moms house. Whenever I am at my moms house I feel like I am a salve because I have to go their when I don’t want to. I cry so much because I want to go back to my dad’s house. My dad got remarried to a wonderful step mom with two kids that are older though. My dad loves me more than my mom loves me. He said that I can choose but I bet my mom would be mad. I just want to live with my dad but I feel bad for my mom and my sister because my sister doesn’t want to live with our dad she want to stay with her mom. I just want to cry but it’s embarrassing :( what should I do? Please help me

  • Lilly

    August 26th, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Hi, I’m 14. I am kinda going through the same thing. I live full time with my dad and brother, and every other weekend I visit my mom. Right now me and my mom don’t have a real good relationship, and I don’t see it getting any better. So with that, my stepmom and my dad were talking about what would happen if they were to die. They really didn’t want to talk about it, but with the issues that were happening they kinda had to. So my opinion is that if they were to die, I would go live with my godparents. My brother wants to live with my mom. He doesn’t see what her life is like and how that can affect his future. So tell them the truth, I told my dad and step mom to make sure that gets down in black and white. And they understand, my mom on the other hand is hurt but she loves me. And if she loves you she will understand. The truth can hurt so don’t tell lies to make it feel better. Every wound hurts, but every wound heals.

  • J

    July 30th, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    I think children should be asked- if nothing else to see if their may be a problem with the judges inclination.

    It is safer for the child if they are asked.
    What if the mother,this is assuming the judge is inclined,is making up a story to gain custody of her four year old,whom she hits and yells at.If the judge believes the story and doesn’t ask the child he just sentenced a child to abuse.I know of kids this has happened to.

    That is Why he should ask “Now,which one of your parents do you like the least?” and then “why”

    Its the WHY that should decide it,a child’s safety should always be the first priority of the judge.

  • Sharrayon

    July 30th, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    If the parents divorce simply because they are no longer able to communicate, and one of the parents are abusive, and the children are old enough to decide who they want to live with, shouldn’t that be taken into consideration? Especially considering the fact that the children are 15 and older?

  • Cassidy

    July 30th, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    My parents are about to seperate. My mom has me and my two older brothers. I am 14. My dad has two older daughters who live on their own. I want to be with my mom. But I want to be with my dad to. I do t want to choose my mom because my dad will be upset to lose his last child. It’s so hard. Can I have a whole week with my mom and the next with my dad and so on? Or do I have to be with my dad for only 2 days??!! I want to be with them equally!! :(

  • Catalina

    July 31st, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    The court will decide. But if your parents come into an agreement that you could stay one week with her and one week with him, it’ll be fine.

  • Veda

    August 1st, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    That’s how it is with my parents 50/50, I though would rather live with my momm for many reasons I don’t want to talk about at the moment. But yah I go to my moms one week and my dad’s the next

  • Nicholas

    July 31st, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Hello my parents are already seperated and I am 15 years of age. I am wondering at what age do I get the responsibility to decide whether I visit my father or not.

  • maria

    August 3rd, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    Hi i have 15 month old girl my partner and i got separated i told him he can see our daugther when my daugther at my sister place beucase my mum look after her when i go to work night duty…but he only visit our daugther when he feels like it and never pay child support which i dont mind because i dont like to argue..he buy nappy and milk thats all i pay the rest like medical need etc…but its come to the point he doesnt respect my mum like he just walk in to the house and walk out without saying anything…all i wanted is respect but he cant do i told him he wont be able to see our child for a while until he respect my mum which mum look after my daugther when i work because the father wont be able to because he works as well..and the last few days his been txting me thats he well take me to the court…what should i do??

  • makayla

    August 6th, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    I’m 14 . through the court , I live with my mother , but I haven’t been to her house in two months because I prefer to be with my father . my mother is forcing me to transfer from my hometown to where her fiancé lives . can I decide which parent I want to live with ? can she force me to reside somewhere I don’t want to be ?

  • r y an

    September 12th, 2014 at 2:56 AM

    Hey Makala, my daughter is 10 and we have custody trial soon. She feels like you so does my son. My heart really goes out to you. Remember no bad it gets it can always get better. Time is only thing in your way. Try to write a very well prepared letter to judge to ask to testify before him, learn how to write effectively to explain what you said and what’s you kept to yourself and any judge with good morals Will listen to you. And to all you people bashing dads, get a life. All of us are not deadbeats, I fought in two branches of service during gulf wars to provide safety and financial and physical security. I have given blood, sweat and tears to My kids and for my country and my brothers in arms. Unless you put you’re life on the line for someone other than yourself. It’s better to keep your warped comments to yourself unless you can actually help someone. Get a life people. To those who suffer the hardships, Rock on. It makes you a more stable person than these negative people who live and feed from fear and control of the suffering of others. Hang in there sweetie. Good luck!

  • mykaela

    August 6th, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Hi, I’m 16 I have a son that will be 1 next month. My dad lost all rights to me, but can I choose to live with him with out my mothers concent?

  • r y an

    September 12th, 2014 at 1:57 AM

    Dude, try to file a motion to be an emancipated minor. You’ll probably get it since u have a son as well as your 16. The court would emancipated you unless you’re not saying something that could change it. Go to clerk of court. They are r required to help u fill the form and u pay your fee and wait for hearing

  • jess

    August 7th, 2014 at 5:17 AM

    Kids under 18 usually don’t have a say although the judge does take it into consideration and it depends on the circumstance. For instance my step son wants to go live with his unfit mother who is in a home for drug recovery so technically she is homeless she is stuck there for 3 years court ordered. Has not paid a penny of child support since 2010 and has not held a job for more than 2 months and has still been I. Trouble with the law for forgery and recently found in prescribed pills and a bag of marijuana in her present not to mention the men who come and go in her life are on propation and beat her and are not great idea for helping with the kids. The reason why his son want to live with her because she acts as more a best friend than a parent at her house there are no rules she lives in a bad neighborhood obviously she lives in a building tht is locked but because it’s a government housing for addiction across the street is the homeless shelter and down the road is the ghetto where people kiddnap and get shot at least once a month. She lets her son whose 13. Run around like he owns the town at my house he has chores, curfew, responsibilities and can only eat a limit of candy and junk food otherwise he will binge and kill whatever we have in stock. But the courts Deems the kids at that age not old enough to know what they want. When I’m this case the mom only calls and comes visit him on her off days. Due to court. She already lost custody of her other son for good. Yet has another son she can’t handle he’s about 1 years old tht lives with her. Hes probably the only kid she fully taken care of. Her son my step son takes medication she doesn’t give him all his meds and changes his meds without doctor permission and thhinks that hospital kills people so she refused to take him to his appointment s are is constantly late when he is in her care. Worse of all when we pick him up we have to wait 30 minutes outside for him to com’e out his mom tells him not to rush but she knows I’m advance when we plan in picking him up but when she comes gets him she walks into my house and will hurry him up. She does not have permission to enter our house. I guess I’m a nice person and don’t have the words to tell her don’t be rude she was not allowed in our house but I told my husband. But in the end courts, rules,laws need to be changed if his dad was doing all that his mom was doing his dad would have lost all custody and been locked up. However, they are less harsh to unfit mothers why? I do not understand. She has been deemed a lost caused to our attorney because she has not straight out her life but because laws are so messed up they tell us to go easy on her because she’s trying to pick her life up but it shouldn’t take 5 years. She only wants the kid for the money when she had the kid she was getting 700 a month! Which is way more than his whole paycheck! Yet it was still my husband and I buying new clothes school supplies and taken him to his school events conference etc and they lived an hour a way. Need I mention mom stayed home and never went to any of it and now the we have him has not made any attempt until last week because she’s trying to file a petition to change the stipulation that he wants to live with her we already notified our attorney the things she allows him to do and have evidence through other people and text. She lives 4 blocks by a grocery store and his aunt said she seen him there at 1 am by himself. Need I remind that his mom does not talk to her own family because the forgery she got was because she stole money from her own mother. I wish the laws would open their eyes and see what the right thing to do is. My this battle will keep on going until he is 18!

  • Jason

    August 11th, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    I’m in a unique situation. My daughter that is 16 is not my biological daughter. I have been in her life since she was 5 months old and 3 years ago when her mother and I separated my 16 year old decided that she wanted to live with me. Her mother agreed to her living with me. So for the last 3 years my 16 year old has lived with me in a separate state from her mother. This summer she went to visit her mother and now her mother is saying that she is not allowed to come back and live with me. Her mother is telling her that I have no legal pull in the matter and that her mother has custody. My daughter has been living with me for 3 years with not one penny of child support from her mother and now the mother wants to say that I am not her father and she can’t live with me any more. My daughter really wants to come back and she is supposed to start school in less than a week. What can I do?

  • Joao

    August 13th, 2014 at 4:14 AM

    When parents separate or divorce it should be a simple and easy solution.They are both the parent of the child.It should be 1 week with either parent or 2 weeks with either parent.This in my opinion is the best solution unless one parent cannot or doesn’t want this solution and less time.

    Their should not be a loser …both parents should be winners which will make less friction and fighting,which in turn will force both parents to focus on the interest of the child.

  • Katy

    August 13th, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    I am living in the one week with each parent situation and let me tell you I hate it. My “father” treats me like trash and as soon as I go to his house I get very emotional and I will cry my eyes out. You can’t say what you think is best for the child with separated parents because you are not the child! I want to live with my mother full time but my dad won’t allow it and he always talks her down and tells us lies about her so we’ll hate her. If it was up to me id never want to see my dad again. All these people saying they no what’s best really need to think about the kids and how they’re feeling it’s our lives not yours and my childhood was ruined because of people saying they knew what was best for me but they don’t!

  • r y an

    September 11th, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    I understand but the roles are reversed. I’m the dad who fought wars to care for my babies. My ex wife did the same thing to me as your dad does to your mom. My ex calls my son bad names I can’t even say and slaps him and dragging him by his collar hitting him. I can see your delima. But their mom doesn’t care for s anyone but herself, not even the beauty of love breaks thru. I wish I could have my kids all the time. I did things horrible things just to make it b s co to see their beautiful faces. Life is a cycle, after winter comes spring and the beauty that comes with it. Always repeating. Life is beautiful. Don’t let other people color the lenses Of your Young untainted eyes. Good luck! !

  • r y an

    September 12th, 2014 at 1:46 AM

    I understand but the roles are reversed. I’m the dad who fought wars to care for my babies. My ex wife did the same thing to me as your dad doe as to your mom. My ex calls my son bad names I can’t even say s nd slaps him and dragging him by his collar hitting him. I can see your delima. But their mom doesn’t care for s anyone but herself, not even the beauty of love breaks thru. I wish I could have my kids all the time. I did things horrible things just to make it b s co to see their beautiful faces. Life is a cycle, after winter comes spring and the beauty that comes with it. Always repeating. Life is beautiful. Don’t let other people color the lenses Of your Young untainted eyes. Good luck! !

  • Joe

    August 28th, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    There is always a loser. It would be nice to have a win/win situation; however that is when there are no children involved.
    My oldest wants to live with me because I can relate to his plight of being a teenage boy. I provide him with many things he needs as a Dad.
    The judge is not going to split up my children so both my son and I are losers.
    I am also the main loser as my X is turning everything I do to show my affection and caring for our children against me. It is the same stuff I would have done when we were still married. I lose out on seeing the daily development of our children.
    At 16 you can petition for emancipation from your parents and choose to live where you want. Something to look into so you do not have to deal with your Dad, Katy.

  • Trey

    August 23rd, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    Hey I’m 16 and I live with my mom. I got to my dad’s house every 2 weeks and my dad told me that it is not my decision If I wanna go or not. Can I pick if I wanna go to my dad’s house?

  • decon m.

    September 19th, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Yes you can choose where you want to live. At the age of sixteen the child is legally allowed to chose what parent he or she wishes to live with. Regardless of what the parent says the child can still chose

  • Keeley

    October 27th, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    Even in the state of Michigan?

  • Brittany

    September 25th, 2014 at 5:45 AM

    I’m in the same exact situation and I don’t want to be forced to do to my dads any more. If love to know if I have a choice

  • Margaret

    August 23rd, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Dear Trey,
    First of all, I am not a therapist, but I ended up on this site looking for answers for my nephew. Here’s what I think: at 16 it isn’t really your decision where you live, it is your parents’. I am sorry if going to your Dad’s house is unpleasant for you, though. Is there a specific reason you don’t want to go to your Dad’s house? I think that you can request a meeting with the two of them to discuss the matter. That much they absolutely owe you. You should come prepared to come this meeting with specific reasons why you don’t want to go to your Dad’s house. Please remember that your parents have feelings, too, and try to be respectful of them, but also firm about how you feel and why. If you don’t know why, if it’s just a “feeling”, then you must take the time to think about it more. If you need help thinking about it, ask your school guidance counselor for help. Good luck, Trey.

  • james

    August 26th, 2014 at 5:55 AM

    We devoced with my wife just a year ago and does not want the children to live with me or vist my children.

  • Silvia

    August 31st, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    I have primary custody and my ex husband taking me to court next week he want my children 12 and 13 years old they only wanna stay one school year over there were he live and than come back to they don’t know that their father taking me to court now I have to defend myself bc I can’t afford a lawyer I need to tell the judge that my ex never returned my boys back in my care after the summer break

  • anonymous

    September 9th, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    My parents are divorced and id like to know that me being 16 going on 17 have the option to choose who I go with on mandated dates such as me being with my dad mon-thurs and mom weekends. But question…do I have the choice to just say id like to go with my mom for a few days.. or no?

  • Shirley

    September 23rd, 2014 at 3:54 AM

    I went to court today and the judge ruled that my son will live with his father and my daughter with me. My son is 13 years old and wants to live with his dad because he feels that the father will be a good dad. However this man goes to work at 6am and goes to school right after work so does not come home until 7pm every weekday! Also my ex is a child molester/registered sex offender and a violent drunk plus drives while intoxicated.. How can a judge just rule this without knowing all the facts? My son is doing so much better in school and is active in sports. When we lived in our old town with my ex my son was doing awful in school and sports only happen once in a while.. I’m so lost and hurt because I took care of my son his whole life!

  • Jessica

    September 27th, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    I have a big problem!! I married a man with 3 kids the oldest child supposedly via his ex decided he wanted to live with his grandparents when she went up to bring him down here with everyone. Now he’s 14 and does not want to be there he says it’s stressful and he can’t handle it there. He has attempted suicide and feels he may do it again of he’s not out of there. They have full custody of him and they live in 600 miles away is there a way to get him out quick?


    October 7th, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Go to court

  • annonumice

    September 28th, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    I am 15 and I don’t want to live with my dad because I don’t fell safe and he calls use names but I just moved here a 2 years ago and everyone is on his side I already contacted children services and everyone denied it so they said I needed theripe and he has full custidy and lost a 60 pounds sense then i think it is from depressing sense what the school said what can my mom do to get me back

  • kim

    September 29th, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    I have a 15 yr old daughter that has been around her father that drinks allot and smokes crack. when it came to going to court she wouldn’t open up to her guardian of liam cuz she didn’t want her dad to get in trouble. so therefore I couldn’t get full custody he lied in court the hole time saying that he doesn’t drink or do drugs. so he was calling our daughter a liar. while I am trying to protect my daughter from getting behind the wheel with her father while he drinks. he is dating my baby sister behind my back and they both lied that in court too. while he have joint custody and the judge told my ex that he couldn’t have anyone staying the nite of the oppisite sex while our daughter is with him. he agreed to that so court was done on may 5th he married my sister on may 6th so now it is legal. I have been with him for 23 years never got married cause he wasn’t worth it but a did have a great daughter out of it.what family member does that! her she always wants what I have had.well she can have him. they knew eachother for a month there dating in secret and now they both drink and do crack. my daughter told me that they took her a house were people were smoking pot and dad hides wiskie under his bed and has a bottle on the drivers seat. well! he broke the court contract. so filed for full custody and filed breech on contract and file a civil suite because my daughter want her dog and clothes at his house and he wont give them to her.all I want to do is to be left alone and not get anymore text threats and for my daughter to have a happy life. she is on despressed medicine she was cutting herself because of him picking fights with her. she grew up too fast for 15 years of age.back to court in November and October and December. she wants to stay with me because there isn’t any drama and its stable and no the mean time my sister is trying to mother my daughter. she needs to stay away from my daughter she is a bad influence and a druggy and a drinker… anyone has any advice for me. thank you

  • Correen

    January 6th, 2015 at 7:31 PM

    You poor girl
    That sounds awful
    Don’t hate on your sister too much
    Trust me she will suffer worse than you ever did
    He is a douche piece of crap to come between sisters like that
    Keep loving ur girl and love
    Ur self ☺️
    They will get what they have coming
    Hopefully one day ur sis will ask for forgiveness

  • trent

    October 1st, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    I’m 14 yr old boy I lived with my grandparents for 14 yrs and my mom has custody of me. But she’s mean we don’t get along she told me that I’m not her son and she hopes I rot in hell. She sells meth and ive found a meth pipe in her room before. And if i talk to the judicial court and tell them all this would it effect on the owner of that house cause we are renting a room and I don’t want to evolve cause they have a 1 yr old daughter and i Don’t want her to be takin away and i don’t think they know about this please tell me if it would do damage to their family!!!!and If I did talk to the judicial court would they let me move back with my grandparents if I tell them this please let me know ASAP. ?.?!!


    October 7th, 2014 at 6:20 AM


  • Samantha

    November 1st, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    It’s best for you and your sister if you contact judicial court for this, it may not seen like a good idea in that your mother might argue with you. But you need to at least speak to someone about this. I hope you and your family well, hopefully it will get better soon.

  • james

    October 29th, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    Ive been going through hell with my daughters mum for 5 years now. My daughter lives 2 an a half hours away from me.and im the only one that’s made the effort to be part of her life. Everytime her mother gets a new bloke she goes funny an start throwing insults. I haven’t seen my daughter whos 7 for 4 months now because her mother stopped me just for petty arguing.shes moved house and I dont no where she lives. I made contact the other week and today got a text back saying if you dont leave me an my daughter alone ill get an injunction … now ive never been violent ive always had my daughter when I said . I just dont think its fair she can do this over jelousy issues or because she has another no guy around. And im not shore what to do about seeing my daughter again, and its really getting me down as we did have a good bond.. any help appreciated??

  • Cesar

    November 1st, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    James this is country of Laws as said by our President. If you have not done anything wrong go to child services, they should be able to help.

  • james

    November 2nd, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Thanks for the reply cesar im living in the uk

  • anonymous

    October 31st, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    I’m 16 and I want to go live with my uncle because its more stable at his house. my mom does drugs, smokes weed in the house infront of all of her kids and expects us to do everything and has a boyfriend that she fights with all the time and is always short for rent. Me and my sister want to leave (ages 16 & 15) but she won’t let us and the rest of our family who thinks we shouldn’t live with her don’t know what to do to help us. Any advice helps

  • anonymous

    November 29th, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    The legal age for deciding medical treatment and custody agreements is 14 in Canada, varies in the states but it’s around that age, you should be able to contact the cps and/or get evidence for a court

  • Greg

    November 5th, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    I don’t think very many of you understand what it is that we go through. Just saying “go to court” doesn’t help, it’s more complicated than that. And while some of you think that it’s unfair to put this burden on our shoulders, the weight of the knowledge that you chose one parent over the other, it’s not. It’s unfair that you think that we’re anything but capable of controlling our own fates. I admit, this is a difficult time in my life, but I wouldn’t leave the decision to anyone else, no one but us knows what we are thinking. And the fact that some of you don’t believe it’s our choice where we live? What is that? No on-looker can see what really happens in a house hold. Me for example, I don’t want to live with my dad either, and that’s my choice. My mother is trash talked and put down and all my dad does is lie to my face about everything. And some say “The past is the past” well the past hurts. Before I was born my dad cheated on my mom with some girl from the US while my mom was TWO MONTHS PREGNANT. I consider myself old for my age, and I can see that my dad is blind to the things that go on. My step mom has manipulated him for 13 years and just steals money from him. I live 50/50 with my parents. My dad lives in a 300 square foot apartment, and my mom lives in a 3 story town house. There’s regularly food at my mom’s, and she can afford more than 100 bucks a month without going broke. There are a lot of burdens worse than choosing between my parents that I have to deal with. I know exactly how much money my dad had 2 months ago. 18 cents. After all of this, my father not being able to provide a life for me, and all these other things, how is it not my choice? There’s no rhyme or reason to the things he did. He talks to me all the time about Bushido, the way of the warrior. Respect, honor etc… and yet before I was born he cheated on my mom, and had another child. He didn’t have the decency to divorce until I was born. My mom isn’t perfect, she has many faults too, but please dear god don’t tell me that it isn’t our choice, that we can’t control our lives, that we are any less of people than you are.

  • Greg

    November 5th, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    And to post 88, I feel the same way as you. I am like you. I understand what is going on with you because it;s going on with me. And for everyone who is thinking “Oh he’s all cheerful and happy at school, his life must not be that bad” If there are people in your life whom you know that have home issues, if you’re abused your entire life, eventually you stop feeling it, or anything else. I am hit and verbally/emotionally abused all the time, and I can honestly say that I don’t feel it, or anything anymore.

  • Gaby

    November 7th, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    I have some questions, if any would like to enlighten me. I recently turned 18, I have 3 other siblings, the ages 16 , 13, and 10. My mom forced my dad into bringing us all into a new area a few months ago, threatening to sue him and call the police, NOTE: she left us behind months prior to that and my father took care of us, etc. Her friends told her with us she’d be getting money from our father, hence the moving. None of my siblings wish to be here, and when brought up the conversation of being with our father, she says she won’t allow it or she’ll sue him.I feel this Is taking an emotional toll on my siblings. I want to know the appropriate way to handle this and if my siblings want to live with my father, if it’s allowed.

  • morgan

    November 16th, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    So my dad has sole custody of me and he decided he wanted to move a crossed country to California and I had to go with. I have no desire to live here all of my life is back in Illinois. He has emotionally abused me here since its not what I want and threatens to put restraining orders against everyone I love back home because I still talk to them. I want to go live with my mom back in Illinois but I’m confused on the steps on all this and what I will need to show the court for them to believe me.

  • Akira H.

    November 16th, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Heyyy .. I’m 16 .. I have a bad past and I did miss behave so my mum sent me to live with my dad .. but he’s very abusive and stuff .. she knows but she doesn’t want me to come back to live with her .. I have family that would keep me but my dad won’t let me go .. what will the social workers do with me? Can I tell them that I want to live with my aunty?

  • sandra

    November 19th, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    what do you do when your 16 year old son use to live with you decided he wanted to go living with his father which I allowed him to make that decission and now he wants to come back because his step mother will not stop bad mouthing his family here in calling me (his mother names)plus she has a daughter who makes straight A’s in everything she does and yes my son made A/B honor role last year in 9th grade now in 10th grade hes struggling a little and gets growned for making C’s? Ive never made my kids stay anywhere they didnt want to. My son is ADD/ADHD has been for about 8 years now. What can I do as a parent I have joint custody in schooling medical and stuff in his best intrest. When he was with me for MIDDLE SCHOOL we were having problems with him but middle school is bad for most children. Now hes in high school and seems to have growed up some what can I do I want my son home and not having to live in stress of his father and step mom arguing all the time or her bad mouthing me and my family here? someone please help me or give me some advice…

  • James R.

    December 5th, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    I am a 16 year old and my dad is saying i cant go live with my mom because he thanks he is better because i have lived with him for years but we cant have a normal conversation. we fight all the time so i want to live with my mom my mom and i have had are ups and downs but she is a mom who cares. should i just make it clear to my dad that i want to move in with my mom?

  • Carolyn

    December 23rd, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    I have a12,and a15 year old they both want to live with me right now they live with there dad we have joint they have the right to be with me or do they have a say in what they want I live in Canada

  • Xeyana

    December 27th, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Hi, I’m going to be 14 in January. I really don’t want to see my bio dad. EVER. My mom has custody of me. I hate my bio dad. He slapped me in the face twice last summer. If my mom took me to a judge would I be able to talk to the judge about never seeing my bio dad? If I had good reasons would it be considered? Please respond.

  • jewels

    March 11th, 2015 at 3:36 PM

    First what happened for him to slap you and has it gone beyond slapping?

  • Ashlynn

    December 28th, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    My mom and dad is both nice to me but I just can’t stand being sad dad says I can’t go because he doesn’t have enough money to buy a house.should I just tell him that an apartment will do since that’s what he lives in or should I wait until he has enough money?

  • Cierra

    December 29th, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    My mom filed for custody claiming my dad is this horible person, when really my mom does alot of stuff.shes unaware of. And everyone knows. Im 16 and my dads lawyer said i can live with my dad if i chose to. My dad said since my mom kicked him out the house a week ago he doesnt have a place yet, and hes staying with a friend. He wants to send me to live with my older half Ohio, until he finds a place there too. Would that still be possible, or he has to have his own place

  • Conor

    December 30th, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    When I was 6 my parents got divorced and put aside their problems and sat down like mature adults and talked about what would be best for me. As my mum was staying in the home we had at that time, they decided for me to stay living with my mum so it wouldn’t disrupt anything in my life. This left me seeing my dad every second weekend.

    They definitely made the right decision as everything stayed as normal (except for my parents), I also preferred and still prefer my mum!

  • lataya

    January 3rd, 2015 at 10:17 PM

    Is the child supposed to go to court with the parent if the court order is about child custody?????

  • jewels

    March 11th, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    Yes. I believe so. Just incase the mediator or judge wants to speak with the child/nen

  • Landon

    January 4th, 2015 at 11:38 PM

    I’m 14 years old and live with my mom most of the time. I hate where I live and her. We fight all the time. She attack my brother(16) and the was blood on his face and she said she didn’t do it when there blood on here fingers. I have pictures of his face and body from her. She called the cops and said he attack her. I was scared and so was he. She his a scary person to live with. Also I only see my dad even 2 weeks. Please help me.

  • The Team

    January 5th, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Landon. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about domestic violence at and additional information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • victoria

    January 5th, 2015 at 1:26 PM

    My step sister is 15 and her mom won’t let her move in with her dad. Is there anything we can do so she can move in with us?

  • Will

    January 7th, 2015 at 1:12 PM

    I live with my mum in England London but I whant to live with my dad who lives in America Stanford and I am 13 and 14 in 6 months would I be able to go

    Please reply soon

  • Emily

    January 18th, 2015 at 8:08 AM

    I think that what you should do is first ask your dad if he’ll have you in America, if he can’t look after you there’s no point in asking. If he can, discuss this with him and drop subtle hints to your mum then get your dad to ask her if you’re allowed to move out there and remind her that he’s your parent too.

  • will

    January 19th, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    I have ask and ask for about 3 years now and she still says no and he would be able to look after me and I would have my step mum half brother and step sister and they are going to court about it me and my mum argue every day and me and my dad get on reary well and my dad is rich so even my home would be nice like I live with my mum in a house what’s so small but my dad lives in. A luxary appartment but one more thing he had a overdose about 6-8 months ago would that change eneything what I am really asking is do you think that he will win? Please reply asap :)

  • Will

    February 21st, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    please reply someone

  • beth

    January 7th, 2015 at 7:05 PM

    My step-dad g her is 16. Her parents have joint custody but because her father’s job is requiring him to move out of state her mother is now insisting she move in with her. They do not have a stable relationship and her mother is living with her male partner that is not divorced. What rights does the minor child have in a situation like this? The child lives in Arkansas and the mother lives in Louisiana.

  • Jewls

    January 11th, 2015 at 7:35 PM

    I am 15 and raised me and my brother from the time I could. which was 3. My mom is always yelling at me for nothing and treats me like I don’t exist. I have never gotten any help with school or with anything in fact. She don’t even hug me! She will have her boyfriend and love him more than her own kids. I have a aunt that will take me in. Is it possible that I can live with her? My dad is in jail and i am so much happier up there with my aunt. Please tell me there is a way? If you could please get back at me asap. Please I really need help.

  • Brooke

    January 13th, 2015 at 5:23 PM

    I am 13 and I live with my mom, about 2 years ago her and my step dad split up. She has full custody and I was wondering if there was any way he can have any custody of me

  • Emily

    January 18th, 2015 at 8:10 AM

    I live in the UK, if I run away from my mums can I be forced to leave my dads and go home?

  • Dr. Shendl Tuchman

    January 18th, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    In the three years since I wrote this, I have received a number of emails from adults and children. The children have asked in many ways how to live with the parent they want to live with and not with the parent they are living with. Or how to avoid visiting the parent they do not want to see.

    This is a difficult and involved process that appears to be different depending on where someone lives, how old he/she is, the particulars of their family, etc. I am very sorry that it is not possible to address the questions in a way that says, there is a way to have what you want, please follow these steps.

    However, it is important to talk to adults in your family (both the parent who you want to live with and the parent you do not wish to live with or see). You may want to ask for assistance from other adults you trust to help you have the difficult conversations. Most important is to let someone you know, know about your feelings. The people who make the decisions about you, however, are your parents.

    If you are feelings suicidal or in any way needing some emotional intervention, please contact the organizations in the post sent by It is very important that you do not try to figure things out all on your own. This is true whether you are a child or an adult when you have overwhelming feelings. At the very least, you can ask a teacher for some help as they are often aware of services that exist in your community that might be able to help you.

  • Grace

    January 22nd, 2015 at 2:02 PM

    Hello. I am 16.
    Recently I have lived with my father for four to five years, after I willingly chose to leave my mother. I am so happy I made the decision and grew the most wonderful relationship wth my dad. However… He died only three months ago…
    I was living with my paternal grandparents since his passing and I love it there. Since I spent most of my childhood there I feel secure and loved.
    Sadly, there was a hearing yesterday and I was ruled to stay with my mother once more. I do not have a good relationship with her. She doesn’t know anything about me, and when my father died I had to comfort her (and he was her second out of four husbands)! She is definitely in not the physical or mental shape to take care of me. She is wheelchair bound, takes too many medications for her own good and has a stubborn, bipolar personality. When she had custody over me in grade school and had child support I remember that she was extremely strict on five minute showers, limited food and never bought us (my brother and I) new clothes, which I have concluded that she spent on herself. I cannot emotionally condescend to her level after learning that she had cheated on my father with her third husband and continues to this day believing that she and my father would get back together because they were “soulmates.” She is selfish and stubborn and I would rather run away and beg the authorities to let me go.
    I have stayed in my room since I was brought here and have no intention to see or talk to her. Please help.

  • John

    February 1st, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    Hello Grace. It seems you have a harsh problem on your hands. What I reccommend, is to go to your grandparents, explain to them what you wrote on here about your mother being completely unfit for your well-being, and ask them if they would try to transfer custody. If your granparents are more fit to keep you than your mother, which it seems like they very much are, then they should be able to take you from her. I wish you the very best of luck.

  • susan

    February 2nd, 2015 at 11:06 AM

    My son received emergency custody of his daughter at age 3. She’s now 9. Her mother was determined unfit, drug and alcohol related. Has been in several rehab over the appears that she will never improve. If my son dies, do the courts have to be summoned all over again as to where the grandaughter resides? She spends a lot of time with us as well.

  • Anon

    September 16th, 2015 at 4:48 AM

    Think u have a problem with mothers John

  • Ruth

    January 23rd, 2015 at 10:44 AM

    My husband has had custody of his 12 year old daughter since she was 7 due to her mother’s suicide attempts, drug use and poor parenting at that time. I have also been very involved in the child’s life since then and love her as my own. Now that the child is 12, the mother is telling her she can come live with her and the child is very confused. My husband and I don’t want to tell her the reasons why she lives with us and not the mother because of her age. But the mother is relentless, making us think that perhaps we should. Advise?

  • Pam

    February 1st, 2015 at 10:59 AM

    Tammy, you have way more on your plate than one person can handle alone. You must find a good therapist to work with to save YOURSELF first, so you can then educate the boys by example. I have been in your position but without the fire. Most therapists can point you to the proper legal support to protect yourself and the boys. It will cost you money to file motions. It also helped me to go to my church social worker for directions…Good Luck, you are in my prayers.

  • Ayla

    February 2nd, 2015 at 8:22 AM

    My almost 6 year old son has been very upset lately and i recently found out that his dads girlfriends 10 year old son was hurting him physically and verbally being a more than basic bully. My son has tried telling his dad and his girlfriend and just gets in trouble for telling or being a baby, this boy threatens to punch my son all the time yells and swears at him and hits him he also threatens to take his own life on more than one occasion, my son loves his dad but no longer want to live with or be around this kid and has asked to live with me do i have a legal right to remove him from the house as long as his dad still has access to him at any time he wants?

  • tamieka j.

    February 17th, 2015 at 6:21 PM

    Absolutely not. YIF there is a court order ask the law guardian to request a Lincoln hearing

  • Ronald

    February 2nd, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    I need some assistance. My ex continues to ask our sons if they would like to go to their house or not when it’s their turn to take the kids. I would like to see what the general consensuses is in regards to this issue. Do you feel that kids under the age of 18 should be given the choice? I know how I feel on the subject but I want to see how others feel as well. We’ve always kept a pretty friendly relationship since the split and I don’t want to cause unnecessary friction. I guess I’m trying to figure out if I am wrong before discussing this with her. I might also add they spend one night a week at her house and she has no set time for picking them up the day she does pick them up, but always has them back in time for school the next day.

  • Ronald

    February 2nd, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    I would like to add, there is no court order in place as we haven’t gone through a divorce process yet, in part because of the kids and their emotions, we wanted to make sure the separation upset healed before we went on with the divorce.

  • Abby

    February 4th, 2015 at 1:59 PM

    Ok so I’m 15 years old and I don’t like living with my dad.. Do I have a choice to live with my aunt?

  • Aaron

    February 12th, 2015 at 5:57 PM

    No u can not unless he signed a paper to give his rights over to your aunt. Other than that No u can not. I’m 15 and tried to do the same. I had to go downtown to the court house to get this information. U can choose if u want to live with your mom or dad because u are old enough to. If u want to know anymore go down to the closes court house and ask questions. Hope this helps you.

  • Poppy M.

    February 22nd, 2015 at 6:08 PM

    I have a question. You say, that at 15 you are old enough to choose if you would rather live with your mom or dad. I am in need of facts right now. I want to move to my dads but I’m afraid that if I do go to the court about it, that they won’t take me seriously. I’m afraid that I will try too hard and fail. Anyway, I need to KNOW that I can choose and it not be mothers choice, but mine. So what I’m trying to ask is, is there a law or anything that says a 15 year old can choose, if they have a decent reason that doesn’t involve child abuse or anything?

  • someone

    February 4th, 2015 at 8:30 PM

    Hi my friend lives with her mom and has a dad but they were nevermarried . her mom won’t let her speak or see her dad (he has no drug, alcohol or mental problems) she is 14 years old and really misses there anything that says that her mom cannot keep her from seeing or speaking to him.

  • julie

    February 11th, 2015 at 1:31 PM

    My son is 14 years old. goes to visit dad every weekend. when is home has a poor attitude. doesnt want to do chores. if I let him go hang out comes back high on weed. says cant stand me wants to live with dad and never see me. dont know if I should let him. I dont want him to think I dont care or abandoned him. yes hes in counseling

  • Aaron

    February 12th, 2015 at 6:10 PM

    i am 15 and I smoke weed my dad does not want me to smoke weed at all. But it has helped me with the divorce I am the same teen has I was before I started to smoke weed I have been smoking for almost a year now. I play basketball for my school and I hang out with my friends. I don’t do any other drugs, u will hear people say weed leads to other drugs. No it’s not the weed that leads to other drug. It’s the person not the weed. My dad wanted me to go to counseling and I hated it. I told him I wasn’t going no more. The only bad thing I do is smoke weed. I don’t get in fights, I don’t argue with nobody. When I am high I seem to have a better life I know it sounds crazy but it’s the truth. I’m only 15 and I have high blood pressure weed lowers it. I have a lot of stress the doctor tried to put me on medicine to help with the divorce and stress. When I’m high im never mad im not sad, I’m happy. I get mad when my dad says something to me about weed. I like to smoke it relaxes me and it takes my mind of a lot of things and it really does. I’m saying u should let your son smoke.

  • Jackie

    February 21st, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    If his dad and you are unwilling or unable to show a united front on something so important, then you have to go it alone. Are you ok with your child getting high? I assume no. If it is unacceptable, i would first let him know that. Second tell him what you will do if you find out hes been smoking weed. For example, i tell my 15 yo to give me her phone, I’m going to look through her texts. I snoop. I’m allowed. She a KID and she lives in MY house. I tell her I’m going to go through her room. I have only done that two times ever. Third, if you find weed or paraphernalia in your house, you will call the police. Take back control of YOUR home. Be consistent. Be nuturing. Let him know you can be trusted. Let him see you defend him if the moment presents itself. Catch him doing something good. He’s starting to spin and the top of the spiral. Get him out. Youre his mom. Your job is to protect him and teach him to be a good adult. Fight for that right! Good luck!

  • Danny

    February 19th, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    Hi im 17 i know im older than most but ny mum and dad are splitting up and ive been told only by my dad that ive only can live with one of them my mum said i can 3 1/2 days with her then the same with my dad but my dad says choose one abd i dunno what to do i dont really have a good relationship with either of them and i dont have any income whatsoever if i did id move out help me if you can

  • Jackie

    February 21st, 2015 at 7:35 AM

    I live in Illinois and want to relocate 6 hours away and out of state with my 15 yo daughter. I am remarried with two younger children from my current husband. My daughter does not want to move out of state. Her dad is not the worst I’ve ever heard of, but he is undermining of me and manipulative of and lies to my daughter. If I move, she would be near my large family (my mom and dad, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) And go to a good school. My husband has had trouble finding a job that doesn’t consist of living paycheck to paycheck. If we move, he’d meet his minimum salary goal. I know its a probability that the court wont let me take my daughter. At this point, shes so ungrateful, nasty and hateful to us all, I’m considering calling their bluff and tell her to live with her dad. (His district school is a mess and his wife does NOT want to deal with her full time). I obviously want her to come with us, but I think she needs to taste the grass that she thinks is so much greener. Opinions?

  • Frederick

    February 23rd, 2015 at 5:12 AM

    I have a son who is 11 years old and my ex had custody of him until she deceased so does my son can make decision of who he can live with.

  • Sara E.

    February 25th, 2015 at 11:40 AM

    Hi I am currently 14 years and I live with my mom. I don’t like my stepdad he’s over controlive and verbally abusive. I’ve been wanting to live with my dad since I was 11 because I absolutly hate my moms house. I lock myself in my room and I’m gone every chance I can. Then my mom complains that I’m never home. My dads house is safe and a clean living condition. He has a safe neiborhood. The school there is 9/10. ( I’m currently in a 4/10 and it’s not a safe school). And it’s affecting my future. My mom doesn’t care about my school or my grades becuase she knows im going to go farther in life then she did because she dropped out of highschool in 10th grade and got her ged, got married to my dad, had my brother then me, and then divorced him when I was only 3. I got to see my dad every other weekend until I was 11 and he got a job offer in flower mound Texas., Whrn he moved, my dad tried fighting my mom for custody , well I wanted to live with my dad then.. But I was a emotional wreck and I was to scared to tell my mom. Now that I’m 14 I have the rights to choose where I want to live.ive been talking to my dad about it for nearly 3 years and I’ve finally decided that it’s time to move out. He’s currently trying to get the financial fundings for an attourney so that he can get the legal process done and then eventually get the court date set up. How do I know the court will let me move to my dads? I’m scared… I’m only 14 . There’s no reason why a 14 year old has to go through court and DHS just to be able to live with your other parent…

  • Sara E.

    February 25th, 2015 at 11:49 AM

    My moms always tried calling my dad out and putting lies in my head about my dad.. When I know my dad.. She just doesn’t want him to have me because she will loose her child support check and she’ll eventually have to pay him child support.! And she doesn’t work!!!!! Her husband works two jobs and ahe has a child support check.. That’s the only money they have She lies to me and says my dad walked out on me… But I know he didn’t . he left because he fount out that my mom was cheating on him.. He came back a few weeks later then she kicked him out!! Causing him to have no other place to live but his mothers abf court would not let him have me since he didn’t have his own place.. But right after that happend with my mom having custody of me, she moved in with my grandma!! And my granma then raised me… My mom didn’t come back into my life until I was 11.. Because she fount out I loved my nana more then her and she got jealous!!!!!!

  • Sara E.

    February 25th, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    Oh and I live in arkansas, my dad lives in texas

  • anomynous

    February 27th, 2015 at 1:54 AM

    Im twelve and i have to deal with my mum arguing about my dad cheating on a woman(when he is actually not) and i just cant sleep and night because of the arguing and it just annoys me. I also get called by my mum a f***ing idiot just because i do things wrong. I mean, just because child does something wrong doesnt mean they deserve to be called a f* idiot. :(

  • Kelly

    February 28th, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    its so stupid why my dad is always calling my mum names when he himself, is cheating on her with another woman. most at times, when ever he comes home, and there is nothing really to fight about with my mum he brings a stupid topic up, I think just to let her know that he is the boss and is in charge of everything in the house. my mum keeps telling me to talk to him but the thing is that I have grown to hate him since I was at the age of seven and now my mum says I don’t care about her and I don’t love her but I do. I have lost trust in everybody. this sorely sometimes affects my behaviour in school or even my academics and then I perform poorly. my best friend in whom I have suddenly lost trust in, complained to her mum about my silence in class. sometimes I just sit down and wonder when is my dad going to stop being stupid and come back to his senses. one time he dumped my mum, my siblings and I out of the house but he still came back for us. it was my siblings n I our decision to stay with my mum but now he says it’s his decision because I think he is going to marry the other woman. we children have our choice and none of our parents should stand in our way!!!!!

  • L.Martinez

    March 1st, 2015 at 9:18 PM

    I’m 16 years old in 11th grade. My mom got evicted from her house plenty of times. This last time she got evicted about 9 months ago I moved in with my 24 year old sister and her 3 children for 8 months. My mom didn’t have a problem with it till February 28,2015 she’s never there for me. This sounds ridiculous but my mother has alot of boyfriends… it’s March 2nd, 2015 12:04am as I write this. My mom picked me up feb.28 she says she makes my decisions I don’t run myself. I watched to stay with my sister. My sister supports me gives me money every other week for taking care of my nieces and nephews. I go to school and come home and watch them I have no problem with that. I share a room with them. I love it at my sisters home I feel loved and special. Something my mom doesn’t ever show me. I don’t like my mom at all. My mom is a manipulative person. I know deep down she doesn’t need me. She’s better off without me. I feel neglect and abandoned she is a total different person when she has a boyfriend. I can agree that my mom is an unfit mother. Idk who to cry to who to vent to about this. I told my mom I want to stay with Amanda (my sister) and she said if I don’t go to her house that she’s going to call the cops and say that I ran away. My mom lives in an attick. I have a room with nothing in it, let’s make that half a room I can’t fit my bed into that room maybe a twin size. I can’t be wth this lady she isn’t stable. She doesn’t smoke or drink it’s money wise that she isn’t stable. Living with my sister has shown me happiness in every possible way. My sister does things for me that my mom has never done for me. I’m terrified of my mom she doesn’t beat me I just have respect for someone who doesn’t care about me. My sister wants to take her to court and get custody of me. I need to know if I can speak for myself in front of the judge and explain my feelings and explain why I don’t want to be with her, I want to be wth my sister. I’m 16 years old going to school everyday loving my life with my sister I need to know if what I said here will my sister win me over? Please help me…

  • L.Martinez

    March 1st, 2015 at 9:58 PM

    I just get in the worse mood ever when I see my mom’s face or when she calls me or when she texts me it’s ridiculous no child should ever feel this way but I get disgusted with her I absolutely have no consideration for her I can’t deal with her she stresses me out she leaves me as a last choice. Her boyfriends go first all the time. We can never have a combo with her bringing up one of her boyfriends. My mom is really a whore it’s disgusting. What a role model right. I can’t live with her I absolutely can not!

  • Dr. Shendl Tuchman

    March 3rd, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    Since I wrote this article, I have received a number of emails from adults and children. The children have asked in many ways how to live with the parent they want to live with and not with the parent they are living with. Or how to avoid visiting the parent they do not want to see.

    This is a difficult and involved process that appears to be different depending on where someone lives, how old he/she is, the particulars of their family, etc. I am very sorry that it is not possible to address the questions in a way that says, there is a way to have what you want, please follow these steps.

    However, it is important to talk to adults in your family (both the parent who you want to live with and the parent you do not wish to live with or see). You may want to ask for assistance from other adults you trust to help you have the difficult conversations. Most important is to let someone you know, know about your feelings. The people who make the decisions about you, however, are your parents.

    If you are feelings suicidal or in any way needing some emotional intervention, please contact the organizations in the post sent by It is very important that you do not try to figure things out all on your own. This is true whether you are a child or an adult when you have overwhelming feelings. At the very least, you can ask a teacher for some help as they are often aware of services that exist in your community that might be able to help you.

  • anonymous

    March 4th, 2015 at 11:03 AM

    I am 13 and live with my mum and two elder sisters, ever since my brothers left my mum and sisters have been on my back more than I can handle calmly. I want to live with my dad but I don’t know how to tell my mum. Any tips

  • Reagan E.

    March 4th, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    So my mom has an issue with me or something. If she didn’t then she wouldn’t yell at me all the time. Even in the slightest wrongdoing, she finds a way to make it a big deal. I have been wanted to live with my dad since a year after they divorced. They divorced in 2012. They divorced for many reasons but the one my mom loved talking about was his “whore.” I had a conversation with my dad over the weekend and I told him and his fiancée that I wanted to move in with him. He and his fiancé said yes. I came home today and I told my mom in the car after getting out of school that I was going to move in with my dad. She bitched about it and claimed that she only said that because she was angry. Nonetheless she still said it. Not only that but she yells to my brother that he’s an idiot and that if he didn’t like the way she was talking to him then he can just “…go live with your dad!!!” She “threatens” that with me but it’s not a threat if you want to go. My dad’s fiancé’s aunt is a family lawyer in Texas and she said that you have to be 14 when you’re allowed to decide who has custody over you. So I’m more than qualified for it. I want to live with my dad because he doesn’t verbally abuse me, he doesn’t hit me, and he doesn’t let me get bad grades. But my mom is manipulative and she “cares” so much about me that she yells at me for having a messy room, not the best grades, every freaking thing I do and I’m tired of it. She basically is a bully who has all the power except for my decision. Now she wants to take that from me too.

  • L.Martinez

    March 4th, 2015 at 9:55 PM

    I honestly know how you feel. My mom is very manipulative she yells at me for the slightest mistakes… it’s so overwhelming that sometimes it’s just tired of it and believe there better off without you? Know what I mean? But ofcorse things happen for a variety of reasons there will be a better outcome in life.It’s an awful thought of feeling abandon. I feel as if my mom trys to make herself look good and act like she cares about me when in reality she doesnt. Yes sure it’s hard being a parent but it’s not hard to be more of a parent, much more of a guider with positive energy to the child. All I ever want is my mom to actually care for me and hear me out. If she was easy to talk to I wouldn’t mind her but it just breaks my heart thinking about this everynight knowing that I know for a fact she doesn’t care. Every night it’s tormented thoughts ruining my mind my school my work. I can go from happy to say why am I happy if the most valued person in my life is suppose to be my mom and she doesn’t value me so I stop what I’m doing and break down each and every day. I want to see when I’m older and successful, if she’ll be behind me looking for me telling me she loves me trying to bond wth me because I will turn my back on her like how she’s done for 16 whole years.

  • Scott

    March 5th, 2015 at 5:16 AM

    My 15 yr old son is basically going through the same experience. I suspect my ex verbally, physically and mentally affects him. Read my recent post I wrote today. I hope your situation gets better. -Scott

  • Kitkat

    March 4th, 2015 at 9:07 PM

    Ok I am currently 12 years old I will be 13 in may I live with my mom and I dont like it she currently pulled me out of school and she doesnt let me out I did nothing wrong her husband starts fights with me just to get me in trouble I have 2 older brothers that got addopoted and I live with a younger brother that my mom does more for lives more well … im trying to ask if there is a way I could fight to live with my real brother and I tried a while back but she won and I just cant take it she keeps grounding me for no reason and is taking my best friends away and making me be friends with people I dont like and also… wont let me see my dad and I really want to live with him and I dont know how to fight her with me having no money right now it is thurday march 5 2015 at 1205 am

  • Kitkat

    March 4th, 2015 at 9:09 PM

    I ment to say real father not real brother lol

  • aa

    March 15th, 2015 at 8:46 PM

    im sure your mom tries as hard is she can. She diciplines you becsuse she loves you and wants you to be a better person. She probably doesnt let you see your ‘best friends’because they are not good people. Trust me. You will have many different best friends come and go in the next 10 years. As for she does more for the youngest, of course zhe does they need her more. You are about to be a teenager. Your mom was one once. Shes been through it all. You may think living with you dad would be better. But obviously there is a reason he is not in your life. Most times kids in your situation think its the mother keeping him away when really the dad does not want much to do with them. Does he buy you clothes? Food? School stuff? Pay for sports? If not chances are he is a deadbeat. sorry bud.

  • jason

    September 15th, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    I think your out of order telling a kid his dads a deadbeat when you dont even know him. Most fathers arent in there kids lifes because courts are bias to women thats whats wrong in the world. Kids need both and usually the male is punished at a whin by the crazy female

  • Anon

    September 16th, 2015 at 4:42 AM

    Or there’s a guy who can’t bear to loose and will do anything to his ex partner to break her down !

  • Scott

    March 5th, 2015 at 4:42 AM

    I am the dad of a 15 yr old boy. He lives with his mother. His mother refuses to admit that she needs to see doctors, as I believe she has a depression disorder. She, in my son and I’s opinion, believe she is bipolar. She gets verbally and at times physically abusive in the blink of an eye. She is emotionally challenged, often cries and feels sorry for herself. She plain refuses to seek the therapy she needs and continues to take it all cout on him. He has been asking me to let him move in with me, which I would welcome whole heartedly, but, his mom says no. At times, I think she says no because she is afraid to live alone. If she don’t have him, she gets no child support, or she has to move out of the section 8 apartment. Sometimes, she makes decisions based out of just to spite me. So my question is. What can my son do, or what can I do, to have my son get his wish and to move in with me? He lives in NH, I live in MA. I would and I have considered moving back to NH, but it was never financially feasible. Now, I have an excellent job and can’t part from it. I really want to help my son and I am more than ok with him moving with me. Any advice?

  • Kelly

    March 5th, 2015 at 11:39 PM

    I jx threatened ma dad with a note and I am holding a knife shld I use it? pls I need a reply n fast

  • The Team

    March 6th, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    Dear Kelly,

    We received the comment that you submitted on our blog earlier today. Thank you so much for visiting If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, in danger of hurting yourself or others, feeling suicidal, overwhelmed, or in crisis, it’s very important that you get immediate help! You can do one of the following immediately:

    • Call your local law enforcement agency (911);
    • Go to the nearest hospital emergency room;
    • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY:1-800-799-4TTY)

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is equipped to take a wide range of calls, from immediate suicidal crisis to providing information about mental health. Some of the reasons to call are listed below: • Call to speak with someone who cares;
    • Call if you feel you might be in danger of hurting yourself;
    • Call to find referrals to mental health services in your area;
    • Call to speak to a crisis worker about someone you’re concerned about.

    If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can call your local hotline and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) (TTY 1−800−787−3224)

    RAINN provides support for sexual assault victims and their loved ones through two hotlines at 800.656.HOPE and Whether you are more comfortable on the telephone or online, RAINN has services that can guide you in your recovery.
    • The National Sexual Assault Hotline: If you need support, call 800.656.HOPE, and you will be directed to a rape crisis center near your area.
    • The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline: is the first secure web-based crisis hotline providing live and anonymous support through an interface as intuitive as instant messaging.
    • For more information visit

    Warm regards,
    The Support Team

  • Will

    March 6th, 2015 at 7:39 AM

    Can you look down and reply to my question it been around 1-2months

  • Don

    March 7th, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    For Will… I just went back and found your post…. Post No. 176… Correct? It looks like your father is asking the court for custody… You are probably correct to think that your father’s drug use will be an issue with the court. Maybe if you posted again with more info you might get some responses… For instance… How old are you? Besides the financial differences… are there other reasons you want to live with your father?

  • Cameron J.

    March 15th, 2015 at 11:49 PM

    So basically I want to move to my other parent but my dad is threatening to not let me go when he already said I could. Am I allegedly allowed to go if I wanted to, I’m 15 years old and 16 this year?

  • Maddi

    March 18th, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    In allowed to chose which house I stay at when I’m 16.

  • Nikki

    March 21st, 2015 at 3:17 PM

    Hi, im 14 and im having some famy trouble, my life choice to be christian has changed my parents opinion on me, my step father says christians are two faced and my mother believes all of them are crazy and bad. If i bring god up my parents may get angry or ignore me. I asked my mom one day if i could go to church she said if you can get a drive. We got in a argument recently and it upset me deeply I feel unwanted, unsupported and not accepted in my own home. My brother on the other hand is also christian and understands and says anytime you need a place come here. He has a job and a house. My major concern is how to i go about telling my parents i want to leave.

  • Hailey

    May 25th, 2015 at 7:36 AM

    Hi Nikki go for what you believe in trust me I’m a Christian and none of them are crazy part being a Christian is worshipping god good luck 🍀 with your troubles here’s what I would do I would sit them down and tell them. Maybe they will understand and let you go live with your brother pray about it god will help you

  • Stephen C.

    March 21st, 2015 at 9:01 PM

    Hi Nikki,
    You have a lot to cope with at age 14. Clearly, you know that all Christians are neither two-faced nor crazy or bad but just living life the best they can. But, to live in an environment where people believe such things or say they do must be difficult. The ideal would be for your parents to accept that your views are different from theirs but to accept also that you are not going to change them and to just accept you for who you are, their daughter who is very much wanted and supported. If you do leave them now it will become a permanent break which you cannot go back on so I would think very carefully before making such a choice. Hopefully your parents may simply have assumed that you would still think the same as them and will now be more approving of your altered stance,if you continue to be patient and loving of them,

  • Max

    March 23rd, 2015 at 12:08 AM

    Hey I’m a 15 years old and my parents are divorced and both with other people now and I’m in the dilemma where I use to go to my dads every weekend but that stopped because my dads girlfriend would get really violent and really scary and I was worried for my life and everyone else’s but that was 4 months ago and my dad is asking that I go back because she has changed but this has happened before and I’ve gone back and she has turned. I don’t know what to do but my dad is threatening me that if I don’t go back he won’t call me anymore and not even on my birthday pls help

  • The Team

    March 23rd, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Max. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • angel

    March 23rd, 2015 at 6:34 AM

    I have a question. Both my kids have lived with their dad for 2 yrs now. He has remarried and my daughter does not get along with her. She wants to move back with me. I have left it up to her. She says she been wanting to come back for months now. But is afraid her dad will get mad. Is she old enough to say to judge what she wants to do. She is also doing bad in school at her dads and dad’s new wife says I’m trashy and I can’t afford them

  • Tia

    March 31st, 2015 at 12:27 AM

    I live in the week at my mums, but my mum has got ocd and severe depression, and I can’t take her any more, she constantly swearing and shouting and she says some horrible things, I had a row with her last night over texts and she threatend to hit me! My mum has a few older children and one of them who had to live with mum for 16 years has turned out so bad, she smokes, she drinks, she sleeps around, and mum buys drugs for her, she’s only 17! One of my other sisters left mums home when she was 12 and event to live with her dad, she is now 22 and lives in wales married and with her first daughter, what I’m trying to say is if I was to stay in my mums house I would go mad, I want to go to university and move away when I’m older, I don’t think I would get anywhere in life if I was to stay in my mums life. I am 12 years old and already have severe deppresion and self harm. I want to peremanatley move in with my dad, but we really don’t know where to start, please can someone help

  • Marjorie

    April 3rd, 2015 at 5:39 AM

    Hi , I’m 15 . I will be 16 June 21st .. But I live with my father I have for a few years I’ve always wanted to go live with my mom but he forbids that .. My mom still have custody of me also but whenever I say something about my mom he flips out and threatens me.. I don’t know how to go about this. Can someone help me? My dads girlfriend is very mean to me she’s always calling me fat , stupid , ext .. And always has me watching her kids .. My dad is addicted to pain pills and his girlfriend always drinks .. What can I do to go live with my mom?

  • anonymous43

    April 22nd, 2015 at 7:55 PM

    Hard to say…sorry I feel the acs on her call the cops on her or him for mental abuse…and abuse her tell her she an unfit mother

  • max

    April 12th, 2015 at 2:52 PM

    Hi i am the father of two girls. 14 &16 i was prevented from seeing them and did not know where they were for 10 until a month ago when i was notified that the children where taken into state care for abuse and neglect by their mother. In this last month i had established a bond and visited as much as possible as i live in another state have done a volentary home study and am able to provide a secure home. My 14 yo wants to come live with me rather than be reuntifed with her mother. The mother is still in prelimanary court hearings on trying to make a plan to correct the abuse and neglect but is uncoroprtive. What can we (my daughter and i) do to get her in mu custody? She is a habitual runaway and needs therapy that her mother would never provide. Also i am scared that if mother does get children bavk she will move to another state and i again will lose contact. Please help .

  • courtney

    April 14th, 2015 at 5:59 AM

    Good morning…I have had custody of my 15 year old since the age of two and a half. He wants to go live with his father even though I know it is not morally right over there. Should I let him?
    Drinking (allowing son to)
    Sex(will more than likely encourage)
    lots of money
    Vulgar language
    Lots of narcissism

  • samantha

    April 14th, 2015 at 10:52 AM

    i am 15 years old i’ll be 16 in july and want to keep custody of my 3 month old son is this possible because my aunt and uncle who i live with says i’m not old enough?

  • steve

    April 14th, 2015 at 11:33 AM

    need opions have a 12 year old son ex has primary have secondary have him every weekend except the third and every wed up at her place his sister mother and boyfriend running me down he wants to live with me cps just said they cant take him out of her care i have to file i just dont get it the courts have warned my ex about these things and make it worst she smokes around him and ha already has a hard time breathing

  • Anonymous.

    April 21st, 2015 at 12:28 AM

    Hi I have just recently turned 14, I asked my mother if I could go back & live with my dad, they never got married, my mom says that my father gives me too much privelleges & hates me being over there, but at my moms I am never aloud to do anything, she expects me to be this fun happy girl but I am never allowed to socialise, she says that I am to never live with anyone else but her & that she will forbid me from seeing my dad & having contact with him, please help me, I’m desperate.

  • Ramnie

    April 21st, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    Hii dear Anonymous 14 year old sweet girl. Mom knows the best for her child. Don’t go against her. You are yet too young to understand her. She has a reason behind stopping you from going to your dad. You will take time to adjust but sit down with your mom ask her to play some games with u. spend time with her and you will get so attached to her affection that one day u will realize this love of ur mom is more worthy than socializing and u can always go out with mom to beaches and other fun places to enjoy .Darling there is more to life than only socialising. u will soon actually be a fun happy girl and u will enjoy life more than ever…

  • dor

    May 8th, 2015 at 11:28 AM

    mommy doesnt always knows best!.I disagree if your 14 you have your own mind heart who you what you feel.dont let any parent make you feel guilty.
    If you feel your mother controls makes you feel.guilty!leave !go to your dads

  • ALH

    May 12th, 2015 at 1:46 PM

    That comment is ridiculous. Do you know this child’s mother? Do you know the situation? If you don’t, then don’t tell her that mothers always know best.

  • Jake

    July 21st, 2015 at 11:02 AM

    He said mommy DOESN’T always know best

  • noah m

    April 25th, 2015 at 7:59 PM

    I’m 15 years old.I’ve lived with my mom forever and when I was 9 I started going to my dad’s every summer. I’m getting tired of my mom and I really want to live with my dad. I’m scared that if I try my mom will go to court since my dad doesn’t pay child support on a regular basis as he should. Idk what would happen. I really need to leave because I don’t like the way my mother and I have gotten worse in our relationship and it is not healthy, I’m especially scared since my brother is leaving for five months for basic training in the army reserves and dealing with my mom is easier when he is here.

  • Tatiana A

    April 26th, 2015 at 5:03 PM

    I’m going through the same thing

  • noah m

    May 2nd, 2015 at 9:24 AM


  • James

    May 18th, 2015 at 3:33 PM

    I’m going through the same thing but I’m 13

  • Mckenziew

    November 3rd, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    Same! i dont think the court will realize that my mother is doing okay and i really need to be with her.

  • Karen

    May 5th, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    my daughter is 13 recently looked for her dad she is off very low mood due to bullies told her would not want to no but after arugin a lot with his sister he change his mind when he knew she had diebeties and im her carer any way he started to c her mid Feb this yr march 6 was last time i co1get her in shool she has been self harming so she can live with him today he took of with her and police cant do anything citzen advice will phone with solicitors in a few days but also wont get leagal aid

  • Blake

    May 6th, 2015 at 3:06 PM

    I am 14 turning 15 very soon. My parents are divorced and share 50% – 50% custody of me and my 2 sisters. My mom also has 2 mor kids, but they stay with her and do not go to my dad’s house. My mom got remarried back in 2008 and I have hated the guy ever since. Him and my mother fight constantly and get the cops called sometimes for how extreme it gets. He is an alcoholic, and on top of that, our house is messy. It is cluttered with clothes and toys and random stuff which causes people to have to sleep on couches and floors because they will not sleep in their room. My dad’s house is by far a lot more pleasant. He is single and more calm then anything at my moms house. We moved into my grandparents house from the result of my dad loosing his job about 3 years ago. He has now had a job for a year and we are moving back into our own house again. It would be in my best interest to move in with my dad because it is, all in all, better over there. Is there any way I can do that? My dad is 100% on my side with this and is almost willing to do anything, we just don’t know what to do.

  • Kelly

    May 8th, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    I’m 14 and I’ve lived with my dad for 4 years and he won’t tell me nor my mom why he took me away from her.. He has anger issues and I hate him if he doesn’t let me live with her I’m going to court and if the court won’t let me I hope he knows he ruined my relationship with him and after I’m 18 I’m out gone and never want to speak or see him again

  • quentin

    May 9th, 2015 at 7:51 PM

    What you should do is if the court won’t let you when your 13 try again at 14 you are more micher and state why you want to live with your mom

  • Ricky

    May 16th, 2015 at 9:47 PM

    I’m kind of having a problem too because my dad smokes weed and I saw him and he keeps on denying it and he won’t let me go live with my mom I ran away once but he didn’t even care my mom brought him to court once but lost because she didn’t have any evidence now the courts are thinking she’s lying anyone who can help please do

  • Josh

    May 23rd, 2015 at 7:34 AM

    I am currently 14 years old. My parents separated about 3 years ago, and since then, I’ve been living with my mother and 10 year old sister in Florida. My father lives in Dallas, and I have a desire to live with him. My mother believes that because wants the best for me, the decisions she makes for me are automatically the best decisions. Here is an example of a situation that occurred just recently; My grandparents asked me two weeks in advance if I was interested in going to Universal Studios memorial day weekend. I said no, and they said we were going anyways. Two days before the Friday of, my good neighbor asked if I was available to watch his dog over the weekend. I knew we would be going to Universal every day of the weekend, but as Universal is a rather small park, I assumed it would be for no longer than perhaps 6 hours. I also knew that if he was asking me, it was because he was out of options, so I said yes. On Friday, they told me we would be gone all day each day. I told them I had to stay to watch the dog, and they didn’t care, nor did my mother. I ended up having to buy the ticket from them ($145) just so I could stay. My mother told me she was “disappointed in how I handled the situation”, and threatened to sell the $900 gaming computer I paid for and built myself for one dollar. It is situations like this that occur all the time, and make it impossible for me to live with my mother. My father is much more logical, as I believe myself to be, and is easier to compromise with. When I informed her months ago that I had a desire to live with him, she said “if you truly want to, I’ll consider it. But I most likely won’t allow you to.” Because they aren’t legally divorced, I’m not sure if I have the right to decide who to live with, or rather, if she has the right to stop me. All involved would like to remain out of the court system, as it seems like it would simply be expensive and biased towards my mother. I’ve run out of options.

  • Tyler

    June 13th, 2015 at 3:24 PM

    Ok, you can go a few ways with this. Due to you being in your moms custody she does have all rights too you. But you achieve the right to choose who you would like to live with at the age of 12-14(depends on state). If you would like to fight it and do not have a lot of money for court cost,exc… you may go a different way tho, differs from each state but there are laws set up to help teens. I hope this helped you and if there are anymore questions I will be checking daily.

  • Brittany

    January 25th, 2016 at 11:26 PM

    If your parents arnt legally divorced and there is no custody arrangement through the courts, then you can go live with your dad and there is nothing your mom can do. She has no court order (from a divorce) that says she is your custodial parent.

  • Candycanecat67

    May 27th, 2015 at 5:48 PM

    I am a 12 year old girl and i have been living with both parents who have split custody with me for 7 years now. I hate my mom because of the things she does to me. I keep on acting out so she would give full custody to my dad but she refuses. My dad won’t file for it even though he agrees that she shouldn’t react in this way. I wish that i could pick the person I want to live with. other people dont understand what i am going through. One time i even packed a bag to run to my dads but i never actually left. My little sister always gets her way no matter what. My mom always believes her lies. I still get spanked but as i get older i get spanked even harder and smaked other places too. One time recently my mom smacked me right on my sun burn really hard. I was balling and she threatened to not allow me to go on the best field trip ever the day before. She always tells her friends what i do wrong. Im scared I won’t see my best friend anymore because of this. She almost always makes me seem like the bad guy. She calls me names an adult would say to their enemy when they are really mad. If you ask her anything about this you whould hear the opposite and probably would believe her. I had to see a therapist about this but now when i ask her to schedule me an appointment she says no. I have to go to my dad about it and he asks me a ton of questions I don’t want to answer.

  • rara

    July 10th, 2015 at 1:07 AM

    Tell every adult in school what she does to you

  • steph

    June 6th, 2015 at 7:17 AM

    Help I am really in bits with my son around a month ago my son came home from school with a bad attitude I tried to ground him the next day and he ran away to his dads house it’s been a month now and he doesn’t want to go home! I’ve seen him once took him to mc donalds and he came over the house to see his brother and my partner si ce going back to his dads I had a text message off his father saying I’m never going to see my son again .
    I’ve been to my child’s school and he doesn’t want to see me his dad has obviously poisoned his mind. …tThis is major upsetting for me I brought him up since a baby and his dad has been hopeless within a day if my son being in his care he claimed tax credits and child benefits and I’m pretty sure that’s the reason he wants him there for the extra cash.
    I don’t know what to do for the best shall I go to court or leave my son realise what he had ?

  • Keith F.

    June 16th, 2015 at 1:15 AM

    I have two daughters from a previous marriage, they are 14 and 16. They would rather live with daddy then mommy, because mommy is always out of state on work and they have to stay with their stepfather. I want them to come live with me…can they make up their own minds or do I have to go through all the legal stuff

  • Theresa

    June 20th, 2015 at 8:16 AM

    I am split with my ex boyfriend for a year now and we have a 19 month old.we tried to arrange an agreement for her to go with him 3 times a week but he do sometimes and picks and chooses on very short notice when he does.he do not pay child support and says if he picks up what she needs while he has her,that’s his share,and our schedule is all over the place and almost impossible for me to get a stable babysitter so i can go to work because I dont have a consistent schedule, and more importantly my daughter doesn’t have a consistent schedule either.would I be able to go to court and have her mon-friday and he have her the weekends? And child support, would that still be joint custody? I do want him to be apart of her life but she needs consistenty

  • jason

    September 15th, 2015 at 5:10 PM

    Why does every female think its ok just to leave a kid at the weekends with dad?

  • Anon

    September 16th, 2015 at 4:27 AM

    Because most men work full time through the week

  • Robert R.

    July 1st, 2015 at 2:17 AM

    Im a kid i want to live with my mom because i have more freedom less harm less drama less trouble and my step mom only cooks when my dads home my dads ex sandy taped me and my sisters arms together and more

  • Jacob I.

    July 6th, 2015 at 7:14 PM

    In some aspects, I agree that a child should not be given the task of deciding which parent to live with if they do not want to. Although, I feel that if a child has a preference, it should be taken into heavy consideration.

  • Jonathan

    July 12th, 2015 at 10:55 PM

    I wanna live with my dad but im scared i will break my moms heart and im not getting abused or any thing but i prefer to live with my dad but my mom thinks i wanna live with him cause he has Xbox and ps3 and everything i like i dont know what to do plz help and they get 50% each on custody of us and both work alot for us but i want to live with my dad plz help

  • Nydaijah

    July 23rd, 2015 at 11:09 AM

    I want to stay with my dad I’ve always wanted to stay with my dad every since him and my got an divorce. My mom think I want to stay with him cause of his phone and I can do anything down there,but it’s not true.its just I love him more than I love dad be some times cause when he ask my mom she either ignore or don’t say nothing to him what should I do I’m 15 is it I get to make my own decision?….

  • Callie

    July 28th, 2015 at 7:50 PM

    I am a 16 year old girl who had been living with my mom ever since my parents got divorced when I was 8 years old. I used to go to my dads house on the weekends but now I’m older and way to busy. my mom is constantly mad at me and I just lock myself in my room to prevent getting screamed at all the time. I tell my dad all the things that she says to me like wishing I was a normal child like my sister and threatening me if I don’t get good grades etc. I want to live with my dad but I don’t know how to get started with that or if I have the rights. I think they have shared custody and they live in the same town so do I have the right to live with him?

  • jason

    September 15th, 2015 at 5:07 PM

    Your 16. Your free to live by yourself so just stay at your dads

  • Katie b.

    July 31st, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    I’m 15… recently moved in with my mom after being with my dad for a year or so… he is moving to Tuscaloosa and is moving and wont be come back for two years… meaning i will not see my family and friends for two years. I said in court that i wanted to stay with my dad… now I’ve decided i dont want to stay or move with him and his girlfriend into a two bedroom house when she has two kids and while my dad has three. How can we move into a two bedroom two batroom house? We can’t!… i just need someone advice as to whether or not i can move in with my mom. I really need someones honest opinion!

  • Hunter

    August 9th, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    I am abused at my moms and my dad is a bum that hates me they r not together i wish i could live with my grandma if u know a way i can plz tell me

  • jason

    September 15th, 2015 at 5:06 PM

    Yes. You can

  • Beulah

    August 21st, 2015 at 7:36 PM

    Great Article. Thanks for the info. Does anyone know where I can find a blank “2009 IL CFS 444-2” to fill out?

  • Will

    August 26th, 2015 at 7:27 AM

    Can I go and live with my dad in America and leave my mum in England I’m 14 now but can I go when I’m 16?

  • jason b

    September 15th, 2015 at 5:05 PM

    You can marry have sex and bring up kids at 16 so yes you can. May be possible now

  • Chels

    September 12th, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    My mom is a really horrible person and doesn’t let me see my family because she doesn’t like them. She makes fun of my sister for going to therapy and she kicked my half-sister out when she was 15. My dad is extremely childish and has a really bad temper. He’s in horrible mood most of the time and if he’s not, he’s playing video games or watching Cartoon Network. Could I live with my half sister or grandma?

  • jason b

    September 15th, 2015 at 5:04 PM

    Im not sure but if your grandparents want you. Feel they can look after you. Have a suitable house I dont see why not

  • Aunt

    September 17th, 2015 at 4:36 AM

    Hi I currently have my 15 year old cousin living with me through consent of her father ( he has full pr of her) she rang me begging me to collect her as her dad said she was either going into care or going bk to her moms to which she refused and rang me! She has been self harming and running away from her dads and step mothers house as she is so unhappy as her step mom is very nasty to her and been volient to her before and she treats her different to the other kids the other children are allowed things and my cousin isn’t! Social services are involved and my cousin has stated she wants to live with me! She is so worried she will be made to go back to her dads and step mothers and she has said she will be in danger if that happens and she will run away and contact me to go and get her! Me and her father don’t get on nor do we speak! Her school are pleased she will currently living with me!! Help will she have to go home I’m worried about her z

  • Katie676

    September 20th, 2015 at 3:55 PM

    Im 14 and my mum hates my dad and thinks everything bad happens is because off him and she has stopped me from seeing him can i go nd live with my dad For good or not?

  • Jessi

    September 22nd, 2015 at 7:18 AM

    Hello, I am a 15 year old and I cannot stand living with my mother. My mother smokes, drinks and spends the money my father gives her for me, on herself. I have a much better relationship with my father than my mother as we have much more in common. When I am at my mother’s house, I barely leave my room as there is nothing for me to do downstairs. We barely talk as there is nothing to talk about; she also sits in the kitchen whenever they are at home and smoke.
    When I am at my father’s, I stay downstairs with my Granaddad most of the time and watch television, do my homework and things like that without feeling uncomfortable. When my father comes home from work, he cooks dinner for me (and sometimes my boyfriend when he is visiting) and then he talks to us and plays video games with us and it is a much better and comfortable environment for me to live in. He does not smoke however, but he does drink in moderation; I have never ever seen my father drunk.

    Whoever is reading this may think that my father doesn’t have any responsibilities to attend to like washing/ironing my clothes and paying out for me to get my essential needs. No one does. I wash and iron myself and I occasionally cook dinner for myself. I never complain about these things as it is a skill that I definitely need when I am older.

    Another thing is, my father is more financially stable than my mother; we always have hot water, heating (I know that this is not essential) WiFi and he always has enough electric in the house too.
    I feel much more comfortable in my father’s home than my mother’s house.

    Would I be able to move in with my father at the age of 15?

  • kathy brittle

    October 9th, 2015 at 6:05 AM

    in georgia what age can a child tell who they want to live with

  • Unknown

    October 18th, 2015 at 12:05 PM

    I am 17 years old, I have two younger sisters, a 8 & 12 years old.. My parents have been divorced since I was 9, my mother has full custiody even though I feel she shouldn’t.. About a year ago I was put in probation due to bad habits my mom would put me to do (stealing) she also spent time in jail for the same reasons. We both went to court this year in February because my time in probation was done with, my dad was suppose to show up but however could not do to work. I’m 99% sure if he would have came, they would have gave him costudiy but since he wasn’t, from then on my mother has all costudiy. My mother has moved a lot, I’ve been all over Houston. I’ve lost count over how many apartments/houses I’ve moved to but I know atleast over 12 . I have moved every year to different high schools .. I was at the high school by my dad’s house for 1 1/2 year (freshman-sophomore) that’s the school I love. All my child hood friends. I then moved to another school, then another, and now once again I am at a new school, it’s my senior year now. The school I just moved from, I was finally getting use to it but then I got that pulled away from me too due to the fact that my mom broke up with her ex (AGAIN) and moved us AGAIN. I use to be a all A’s and B’s student, I use to love to work and enjoyed the fact that I would learn something new every day.. I was positive and new exactly what I wanted, as time passed.. Obviously with everything I have been threw because of my mom, our relationship has become at it’s worse, and now I don’t even go to school I’ve already missed over 2 weeks this year and it’s burly the first 6weeks of a new school year, and last school year I missed 98 days,.. I try to tell her how I feel but all she does is constantly yell and say I’m ungrateful and stupid. She calls me a b**** a w**** and all the insults u can think of. She’s always out on the weekends and always leaves me to care for my sisters.. Which I don’t mind because I love them. In fact if it wasn’t for them I probably would have left this place already. My mother does not support me what so ever, only my father, my dad has always been the one to push me education wise. I have self harmed ever since I was 10 I started drugs when I was 14 and I’ve tried to kill myself more then 30 times since I was 10.. I feel alone. I don’t know what to do but just put a strong face for my sisters.. I need help. Plz . I no longer want to be in this position of having to stay under this roof with my unsupportive mother, but feel the responsibility to stay because I know my sisters need me, after all, i do care for them everyday.. I know my mother can’t, she’s always working till late times during the week and out every weekend.. She’s irresponsible and child like.. As if she was the teenager here.. I’m always cleaning, everyday.. Always. While she is out, I honestly don’t remember when was the last time I had a night out with friends, I’d say probably 4 years ago.
    I’m at the point were is rather be dead then continue like this.. I’m so unhappy and so alone.

  • GoodTherapy Admin

    October 18th, 2015 at 9:09 PM

    Thank you for your comment Unknown. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about domestic violence at and additional information about what to do in a crisis at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Unknown

    October 19th, 2015 at 5:49 PM

    I am 17 years old and my Mother has Been abusing me since I was 12 years old before I stayed with my mom I was Living with my Grandmother and she died when I was 5 years old and when nobody else wanted to take care of me my cousin Did. On Saturday my mom has Called me all kind of B words and threw all my clothes out my Mother told me that I wasn’t nothing and I wasnt going to be nothing . My cousin that I lived with says that she wants to get Full Custody of Me again and I want to live with my cousin again because my Mother has Never done anything for me she always Is Yelling at me and Havin me do things but not my little brother . I want to live with my Cousin again !!!!!!! How old do I have to be to testify

  • The Team

    October 19th, 2015 at 6:16 PM

    We at noticed your recent comment on the blog and wanted provide you with some resources. If you would like more information on child abuse resources, you may call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453). This hotline is staffed 24/7 and may be able to connect you with resources in your area. We want to encourage you to seek help, whether from a hotline, a trusted adult, or local law enforcement (911).

    If you would like to speak to a therapist or counselor, you can find providers in your area by searching with your ZIP code on our web site:

    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • Ashley

    October 20th, 2015 at 7:55 PM

    I am 16 and my mom is moving to Georgia, but I don’t want to go because I’ve moved so many times and it would be easier, school wise, to stay and live with my dad. Would I be able to go live with my dad without my moms approval, if she has full custody of me and my dad has visitation rights?

  • madison b.

    November 21st, 2015 at 2:22 PM

    I’m 14 years old and live with my mom My dad has visitation rights but could care less about me, and thinks hes a good father just because he picks me up. I really hate having to go to his house and ive asked if i could just stay at my moms house before but he says no. Is there a way for me to not have to go to his house anymore?

  • Mercedes R

    November 23rd, 2015 at 3:52 PM

    Im 14yrs old i am technically living with my mom but we are currently living at my grandma’s house and I want to know if I am able to do something about staying with my grandma because my mom is planning on moving to Arizona and I have moved so many times around the states and it would be easier for me to stay in one spot because of school because of friends and I just don’t want to leave and me and my mom have fighting issues and my mom had me when she was 16 my dad left me but has visitation rights when I am in the state of Arizona but I don’t want to be with my mom or with my dad I want to know if it’s possible if I can be with my grandma because she raised me when my mother went up to another state to go to school and I gained a stronger relationship with my grandma and not with my mom and I really don’t want to go back toArizona because I would miss my grandma and so much other things but I want to know if I can fight off my mom and dad so I can stay with my grandma because I dont wanna be with either of the & my grandma has taken care of me the most and I just want to have help with this

  • The Team

    November 23rd, 2015 at 5:51 PM

    Dear Mercedes,

    Thank you for your comment. The Team is not qualified to offer professional advice, but a therapist or other mental health professional may be able to answer some of your questions or help you find an individual who can. It may also be helpful to simply talk to someone. If you would like to locate a professional in your area, you can find one by entering your ZIP code here:

    You might also try speaking to the guidance counselor at your school. Often they can provide helpful resources. Please know, in any case, that you are not alone. Help is available, and we wish you the best of luck in your search.

    Kind regards,
    The Team

  • Tj

    November 29th, 2015 at 3:33 PM

    I’m 15 almost 16 and I live with my mom, siblings, and nephew. She made us move from Kansas to Georgia and everyone is happy, except for me. Don’t get me wrong I love my mom but I really want to live with my dad back in Kansas. I tried adapting to Georgia, but I just can’t. It’s not fair that she’s controlling and doesn’t even let me stay with my dad(which I’m his only child). I want to stay with him for the rest of high school then go to college( which is literally 5 minutes away from his house) there. So how can I move back with my dad, I’m begging for an answer cause I hate the fact he’s struggling without me there and my family there have been going through so much pain and the fact I left doesn’t help either. Please give me an answer, I’m begging for one, please.

  • Db

    November 30th, 2015 at 1:21 PM


    Have your Dad help you get a Guardian ad litem. You need to make sure it’s ok with your Dad that you live with him. Then your Guardian can file the necessary paperwork for you to go before the judge and ask to live with your dad. You’ll have to have good reasons not just because you want to.

  • Tj

    December 8th, 2015 at 7:55 AM

    Thank you so much

  • Savannah

    November 29th, 2015 at 6:49 PM

    So, my parents divorced in January of 2015. My mom made me move from Tennessee to Florida because she found some other guy. I didn’t want to move and I still don’t want to be here. Every time I talk about moving back she guilt trips me and asks “You really want to leave me and your sister?” It’s annoying and I really feel bad. I’m almost 16 and really want to move back but I don’t know how it will effect me and my mom’s relationship. I have more reasons why I want to move back also. Plus my Dad is legally my dad. Would that effect anything? I really feel bad but I’m.constantly having breakdowns and I get depressed really easy. I had a counselor and it helped but I dint have one anymore or anyone to vent to. I feel really stuck.

  • Ivy

    December 3rd, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    im 15 and my brother is 12 i want to get my brother and i out of my dads home so that we can live with my mom. my dad told us that my mom hated us and that she never wanted to see us again, i made a fake an account on facebook, found my mom talked to her and she said that she has been trying to find us for two years. i am trying to go to court that way i can live with her again.

  • zama p

    December 6th, 2015 at 8:02 PM

    Hi I’m 22 years mother of 3 chiildren I love my kids more than first born baby girl lived with me until she was 1year old she had to stay with her fathers mom because I had to go back to school,then me and her father broke up when I was pregnant with his son he said my son is not his so I had to take all the responsibilities alone even though his mom see that my son is is theirs,my babygirl use to visit me and I visit her I was the one who is taking care of her financially with the social grant with her grannmas help even if they don’t have food I will take all the social grant money and buy it so I had to leave school so I will delever my son my girl was with me that time her granny told me to give her my girl so that I can take care of the little one I agree she used to visit me about three months then go back in 2014 when my mom passed on my girl was staying with me so her granma ask me to give her my girl to stay with her and said she has no problem now I can use the social grant on my needs because of the matter of my mom I was grateful then this year my child’s father go and stay with them because he was staying at his father’s home, and they took my girl to chrech now her granma has buy a new house with her boyfriend she is not with my daughter all the time she is not always there I call if I want to speak with her she says I’m not at home now maybe after 2or 3 days you can call at the afternoon or night I will call her dad he will say I’m not at home im working nightshift remember then I ask who does my child left with he’ll say my brother “what” I’ll say inside my heart I don’t trust any men over my child that why I handed her to her granma now that she’s not always around I want my daughters back her dad refused he said he will make a plan while I’m still alive in September this year my daughter came to visit me her father wanted her back because she can’t misses her chrech OK at the end of September I receives a call from her granma saying “is your daughter with you” I said no she said “I had a fight with her father then he took her saying he was taking her to you now I don’t know where they are maybe he’s gone to stay with his girlfriend “that same girlfriend who said she don’t like my daughter I called him and ask to speak with my child he refused then his girlfriend took a phone and call me names I droped the phone and call again telling him I’ll go to police because he don’t want me to speak with my daughter or tell me where they are so I come and fetch her he said I can go to my police and see what they can do I told his mom then I go to police ,the police said they want his mom because he took the child to her not to me I told her but she didn’t go I go again they said I should go to children’a court then I did they send me to family advocate I did and I got forms I go back home.I try to call him I found out he has change his numbers suddenly he sent me a please call with his mothers cellphon I thought it was her buy it was him he told me they are back they had a fight with his girlfriend and that I can call in the mornning to speak with my daughter I was so happy so I did. I told him I want my child to come and live with me now so she can start school next year I just want to take care of her he refused I told him I want her to visit me during December time so I can spend Christmastime with her he said OK when I got there to fetch my daughter her granma was not there her father refused to give me my daughter I called his mother I told her I will call the police she didn’t care so I did the police came still he refused he said I can’t take care of my child and I have many children he said I abordon my daughter he said that him and his mom decided that I will nolonger take my child I will see her only then go back to my home she will not even visit me I was hurt crying I thought just because my mom has passed on they take advantage and the police told me let go they is nothing they can do I cried at the police van the other police get out and go speak to him and he was giving me my daughter telling me to bring her back in January.I don’t want my daughters to live with them anymore because her granma is not always there now and when I want to speak with my daughter they say she’s not around now that they decide without me that she will not even visit me anymore that just can’t happen I want my baby girl to start school staying with me I’m a single mom I have full time to take care of my children please help me what can I do my child is with me now but in January they said they want her back help please

  • Danielle

    December 18th, 2015 at 2:20 PM

    I came here to see what age I had to be until I could legally escape my father’s abuse, and all I see are comments of “Children can’t make their own decisions” “Kids are just that- kids. You can’t let them decide.” I’m disgusted. Sometimes no one but the courts actually listen to the kids and its this behavior why. Some parents need to realize that some kids need to make their own decision, and myself being 16, I think I know better which parent I don’t want to see again.

  • The Team

    December 18th, 2015 at 4:35 PM

    Dear Danielle,

    Thank you for sharing. The Team is not a substitute for professional help, but we encourage you to reach out. A school counselor may be able to help you find some answers.

    You can also locate a therapist in your area by entering your ZIP code here:

    Please know you are not alone. Help is available, and we wish you the best of luck in your search.

    Kind regards,

    The Team

  • Sriyani

    February 20th, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    I’m disgusted with how people keep saying children shouldn’t choose who to live with. Children should be able to sleep were theyou feel safe and comfortable and secure. All I want to say is screw them all even the the counselors who goes by the book not how child feel. I don’t understand why children have to feel like an object to please grown-ups, why do they have to live in misery because one parent is so selfish. People do what’s good for the child. You people are mentally running your kids because of the selfishness.

  • Thalia A

    March 29th, 2016 at 10:12 PM

    I have a really hard time deciding between parents because I hate my mom she makes me feel bad about myself but my dad is a alcoholic so I have nowhere to be happy

  • Anonymous

    July 6th, 2016 at 1:16 AM

    I came here to see if I have the right to choose which parent I can choose and all I see is kids dont have the right to choose! My dad is an alcoholic and my mom and dad come from different countries.I wish one day the child can have the right to choose!

  • unknown

    July 8th, 2016 at 11:58 PM

    I think that if the child is 13 or older they should be able to choose what parent they stay with. All though there many reasons parents are separated from there children. The child should be sale to choose unless the parent can not take care of the child both mentally and physically.

  • J

    August 10th, 2016 at 10:17 AM

    I’m a 16 year old who wishes to live with her father. My mother is not abusive, but she is manipulative, and when I told my father I wished to live with him, he, my mother, and I sat down and talked. My mother said no and when my father left she told me I could no longer see my father. She blames him for the divorce, but the real problem is her, I can’t see her as a role model when all through my childhood I saw countless of men enter her bed while my father was at work. In every, financial benefit my father pays for it all, he has a full time job along with my step mother, and my mother works part time while her fiancé for 5 years works full time. I believe I have a choice to choose because I don’t want to live with someone who forces me to got to church, lives through me, tells me I can’t see my father, when he is caught up in all payments, doesn’t let me play sports because she can’t drive when she’s fully capable, and is homophobic and would see me as dirt beneath her shoe if she found out. I can’t be in the same room with her or the rest of the family unless she has had a glass of wine. I should be able to choose because as a child I wasn’t aloud to say anything, in real aspect my mother didn’t go to court, she packed us up and moved to another state and then the divorce happens two months later without anyone of us children knowing, because in the beginning our mother refused to let us even call our father. So in the last 4 months my mother has finally agreed to let us to see our father, but only when she realized that we thought he was dead for the past 6 years . I believe those a good enough reasons to let a child choose where to live .

  • Kylie

    August 11th, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    I’m a teenager and I dislike my father. He calls me fat favors my brother in all ways and puts greater restrictions on me then he did when my brother was 5. In other words my brother had more freedom at the age of five the I do now. Any way I want to live with my mom but I’m afraid to tell my dad. My father is a homophobic bastard but I still don’t want to hurt him. Is it bad that I feel trapped by him.

  • Sriyani

    August 11th, 2016 at 3:41 PM

    I have a nersisistic ex who emotionally abused our children. He would not let the children speak to me when he had them,he would keep the phone in his pocket,would chase them and took the phone away from them if they got hold of the phone and talk to me,my daughter would stay up all night terrified of him,developed anxiety and depression,wanted to die at age of 9 because life was too miserable for her. My hand were tied legally where I just could not keep her go to from going to dads. My daughter decided with her feet that she was not going to live at her dad’s house at age of 9. I always told my children since they were babies that they have a choice,their feelings matters,their opinion matters,they have a voice,that voice matters. When they were young I gave them food choices,freedom to choose what to wear. We all should have freedom to choose.specially where they feel safe and secure while they are sleeping. Our children need people who can be a voice for them,to protect them from angry ex spouses who wants to punish other parent by hurting the children. I wish we had better legal system who would listen to the children and let them choose. Our legal system had failed our children great deal,and have damaged them to a point damage is life long. Even the counselors can help these children. That is why we have too meny angry,massed up people in out society today. I have fought my ex for years in courts to protect my children. Still fighting for them.after $100k towards legal fees. I sold my home to fight for my children’s right. But the judges and the lawyers it’s all about money.never oabout protecting our children emotional,verbal and physical abuse. If the one parent knows how to manipulate and twist and lie that what judges believe.witnesses who get on the stand and put their hand on God’s word and and take oath to tell the truth,but when people lie that is what counts.what you say on the stand whether is a truth or a lie ,judge believe it and goes in to evidence. MurderSs walk free and innocent go to prison because people lie on the stand, whose fault is it? Our legal representation, people who we think we can trust to do the right thing, especially when it comes to protecting our young. My daughter now 13 have not slept at her dad’s for over three years,because she closed not to take abuse. She stood up for her self as a very young girl. Strong willed,determined,strait A student,she will not let everyone abuse her in anyway. I want all of our children to stand up,speak up, do the right thing for them selves. You have a voice,you matter. Fight for your freedom.

  • Howard

    September 30th, 2016 at 8:51 PM

    You should never feel trapped by a parent, but at the same time you need to start being your own advocate and start exploring your legal options, you deserve to have a voice, it’s after all your life that we’re talking about, and you should have some say over it.

  • Luis R

    September 29th, 2016 at 12:48 AM

    Well I live with my pops and I dont like him at all and In the other hand my mother supposedly doesn’t have custody of my and my 3 brothers so my pops married a women which has 8 kids on her own and me and my 3 bro sister with makes 12 in total. Which I’m trying to look the some right to go with my mother which I have every right too see my mother. Any suggestions??

  • Howard

    September 30th, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    I believe that a child should have a voice in where they want to live as long as they are mature enough to understand the situation. I have a similar situation with my 14yo son, he lives with good material grand mother and his older sibling and two younger siblings. I live 1,300 miles away from him and I try to make every effort to spend time with him, ie. On the phone or the Xbox playing games, he has been wanting to come out and visit me since he was 9, so a few years back my wife, my step daughters and I drove 1,300 miles for a court date to set up some sort of visitation for him to come out here for the summer and send him back before school starts, unfortunately it got shoot down, because my son who was 10 at the time was nervous about flying, but the entire time we were in court my ex was asking the judge to order supervised visitations, and she feared that I wouldn’t send him back. Fast forward 4 years, we convinced my father to come out here to visit and to bring my son, I first asked my dad, then asked his hand mother (who had legal custody of him and his siblings) she agreed (with reservations), but here’s the kicker, I call my son a couple of nights back and told me that his grand mom is starting to waffle on the whole thing, and he’s doing nothing wrong to deserve it. He has also told me that I have done more for him then anyone ever has and I live the farthest away from him, his mother is pretty much out of the picture because of drugs abs as he puts it constantly screwing up, and he’s considering on wanting to stay with me because in his own words “there’s nothing out here for me.” Where he lives. He’s tired of being”Cinderella” doing all the chores while his older brother doesn’t have to do anything, my son is a good child with a far beyond his years wisdom and common sense about him, so yes if he decides to he wants to stay with me I’ll see what I can legally do about it, but if he doesn’t I won’t be mad at him because as I told him everything I have done, I have tried to do for his benefit. Oh and as a side note back in 2008 I flew back for a custody hearing to decide who was getting custody, the 3 fathers of the at the time, my ex, or the grand mother, I was the only father there and I came the farthest, and I told the judge that if my son’s mother was going to get custody I’ll fight, but if the grand mother was getting custody I wouldn’t, and the judge commended me for being the only concerned father there and traveling 1,300 miles for his child.

  • Shendl Tuchman

    October 4th, 2016 at 6:31 AM

    Since I wrote this article in 2011 I have received there have been over 300 Replies here from adults and children on this topic as well as individual emails describing their situ. The children have asked in many ways how to live with the parent they want to live with and not with the parent they are living with. Or how to avoid visiting the parent they do not want to see.

    This is a difficult and involved process that appears to be different depending on where someone lives, how old he/she is, the particulars of their family, etc. I am very sorry that it is not possible to address the questions in a way that says, there is a way to have what you want, please follow these steps.

    However, it is important to talk to adults in your family (both the parent who you want to live with and the parent you do not wish to live with or see). You may want to ask for assistance from other adults you trust to help you have the difficult conversations. Most important is to let someone you know, know about your feelings. The people who make the decisions about you, however, are your parents.

    If you are feeling suicidal or in any way needing some emotional intervention, please contact the organizations in the many posts sent by to this blog. It is very important that you do not try to figure things out all on your own. This is true whether you are a child or an adult when you have overwhelming feelings. At the very least, you can ask a teacher for some help as they are often aware of services that exist in your community that might be able to help you.
    Please be well.
    Dr. Shendl Tuchman

  • Anonymous

    October 9th, 2016 at 6:16 AM

    What if I dislike both of my parents? They are both bullies and try to bring me down all the time when I accomplish something great. It’s quite pathetic if you ask me.

  • clare

    October 11th, 2016 at 8:16 AM

    what if that child causes so many problems at home as an action to be sent or let go to the other parent. what if I the mother cannot sit at parents evening with the father because all i see is a manipulator, rapist, mental abuser. I have to watch him doing that to my children. I have to deal with the constant flow of belittling and jibes about my parenting. when I attempt to enforce any kind of parenting with rules and boundaries they are broken by the children and him. I’m told “mum i have a house rule…. there are no rules” I’m now to the point of giving up. I’m having counselling for low self esteem and they are destroying me. I feel that i have no option but to let them go and live with him sadly knowing that they will probably never be in my life because in the end i will not like them if they continue to behave this way. I feel sad, tired, beaten in every sense. what good is the court order that i have saying they live with me when they behave this way, maybe they are more naturally like him and they would be happier.

  • The Team

    October 11th, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    Hi Clare,
    Thank you for your comment. If you fear for your safety or the safety of your children, it is very important you seek help immediately. You can go to your local hospital emergency room and talk to a professional. Calling 911 or your local police department can also lead you to helpful resources. Here’s a link on our website to several crisis resources that may be helpful to you:

    Please know there is help available to you if you need it. If you want to find a mental health professional in your area to schedule an appointment with for you or your children, you can search for therapists and counselors near you here:

    Wishing you the best,
    The Team

  • Shivam

    October 27th, 2016 at 8:13 AM

    What should a children do when his own family don’t want to adopt the children, means his parents are telling that he is mad he can’t do anything in his life and he is telling that he had done a mistake in adopting such a mad child

  • owen

    November 2nd, 2016 at 7:44 AM

    I have an abusive mother who constantly hits and verbally abuses me. I dont know what to do either because every time I try to stand up for my self she says she dosent care. Im also scared because I have a seven year old sister who loves and cares for me. I just want me and her to be happy, ive been trying to move to my dads but my mom and step dad keep arguing with us to the point of locking us in a room with nothing. Ive had my phone taken too so i cant contact anyone. PLEASE HELP ME!!!

  • The Team

    November 2nd, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    Dear Owen,

    Thank you for your comment. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. First, if you are experiencing a life-threatening situation or if you are in crisis, it is very important you seek help from authorities immediately. You can dial 911 in the United States or visit your local emergency room. You can also call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453).

    Please find additional information that may help your situation at

    Warm regards,
    The Team

  • Dara

    November 17th, 2016 at 8:34 PM

    What if one parent is unfit to care for the child & the child is afraid? My cousin is 12 yr. old. He has lived with his mom his whole life. His dad had weekend custody, but the child always acted out. No one knew why until he finally admitted his dad sexually abused him. Despite him saying it & repeating several times over that he was afraid of his father & he wanted his father dead, no charges were brought due to “lack of evidence”, despite the father’s own younger sister testifying in a court of law that he molested her when she was around his son’s age (which was about 8 at the time). The father was awarded supervised visits, but those didn’t work after about the 3rd or 4th time going when the child finally lashed out & started screaming at him & threatening to kill him, even telling him he hated him, to the point the mother was required to pick up the child just moments after dropping him off for visitation. The father never showed back up again for visitation, & thus it was canceled. More court proceedings later, & it was decided that the father might get visitation if he complied with counseling. He did not comply. That was over a yr. ago. Now he once again is trying to get custody of his child, who although does not have ideal behavior is still doing much better since being away from his father. Should this kid, who is terrified of his father, not have the right to choose to stay with his mother?

  • Dara

    November 17th, 2016 at 8:37 PM

    added to my previous comment, just to clarify, the parents were never married, although the child does have his father’s last name.

  • Max

    May 22nd, 2017 at 9:15 AM

    I believe this child has 100% of the right to testify and choose which guardian he is to want to stay with.

  • Indie

    January 9th, 2017 at 2:07 PM

    I really want to live with my dad or even see him my dads girlfriend is also pregnant with my little brother but my mum says I can never see it please help me I want to live with my dad

  • Art

    January 16th, 2017 at 3:49 PM

    I know this was posted years ago, but I’m hoping I can find some help. As a 16-year-old who’s been living with her mother, step father, and three siblings for the past 10 years, how likely am I to be able to move in with my dad?

  • H

    March 17th, 2017 at 8:44 AM

    It depends on whether or not your dad is in a stable i viro-me the or not. But probably he can.🙂

  • Unknow Teen

    January 25th, 2017 at 1:46 PM

    Im 15, i think it just depends upon the maturity level. if there mature enough to sit down with one of the parents and let them know that they want to live with the other parent, respect there choice.

  • Ruby

    March 13th, 2017 at 1:03 PM

    I agree, I don’t think that most children whose parents go through divorce are going to make their decision based on horseback riding lessons.

  • Cameron

    January 29th, 2017 at 7:35 PM

    I am 16 almost 17 and would like to decide where I want to live. What is the cost for a teen to go to court and decide that.

  • Steve

    February 28th, 2017 at 11:28 PM

    Not true. My oldest son has been persisting for years that he wants to live with me (Dad). And for years I’ve been telling him that I want what he wants as far as the living arrangements. He’s soon to be 14.

  • Ruby

    March 13th, 2017 at 12:51 PM

    If a child were to be in a situation where they were being abused by their parent, would they be able to bring their case to court and get their other parent to have custody over them? This would be for a divorced family and the child had evidence(photos, recordings, etc.) of this abuse. In other words, what kind of rights does a child have in this situation?

  • Max

    March 16th, 2017 at 5:40 PM

    Both parents risk losing custody rights if the non-abusive parent knew about the abuse and didn’t prevent it.

  • Sriyani k

    March 17th, 2017 at 3:55 AM

    I sold my house and spend 100k on attorneys to protect my children from nursistic parent. It is almost impossible to prove emotional abuse.

  • Max

    May 22nd, 2017 at 9:11 AM

    Who would then have custody of the child at that point.

  • Dan

    July 9th, 2017 at 12:31 PM

    Abuse must be reported IMMEDIATELY! It is likely a Judge would put the child in protective custody if a parent was knowingly leaving a child in an abusive environment to “stockpile” evidence to gain an advantage in court.

    You might also consider that poor parenting is NOT the same as the abuse spouses often try to paint the other parent with to gain advantage in court. In those cases Judges often require coparenting, anger management, and/or parenting skills class and reporting back to court your use of the skills you learned.

    Also, everyone going through these things must remember the Court acts in the best interests of the child. They care very little about your personal feelings, needs or desires. If you are divorcing, you’ve already demonstrated to the court you place your desires over the needs of the children. Either by breaking up your family, not changings things that negatively impact your family, or being abusive in some way.


  • Dan

    July 9th, 2017 at 12:18 PM

    Children SHOULD be involved with the process and decision at the appropriate time, in accordance with their age and maturity. The decision should not be acquiesced to the Judge. Parents should mediate and come to an agreement that is best for their children. If an agreement isn’t made then the Court may assign representation for the children. Either way, the children will be heard before a Judge makes any determination as to what is best for any children.

    Unless there is a history of abuse a Judge is very unlikely to order a child back to a domicile of a parent they don’t want to live with. That said, if the child is under the age of 14, in many States, the Judge may order joint counseling to resolve the issues of why.

    I’m not a Lawyer. This is just my experience having been in court multiple times for these issues.

  • Starshine

    July 16th, 2017 at 9:42 PM

    The way my parents have it is during the week I’m with my mum so I can go to school and on the weekend I’m with my dad.

  • Unknown

    July 18th, 2017 at 2:23 PM

    Okay so my parents are devovorced, I currently live with my dad. I want to move to my mom’s, but my dad is controlling and will not let me leave. What do I do and how do I tell my dad that I do not want to live with him anymore?

  • riley

    November 16th, 2017 at 1:40 PM

    Just bring it up they would rather have you honesty. If you tell them how you fell maybe you might talk about it.

  • Disney

    July 22nd, 2017 at 6:59 PM

    My husband and I have guardianship of my 12 year old grandson. He has lived with us since the day he was born. He has been seeing a counselor for 5 years do to his parents. Mostly his father. He has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. He does not want to go to his fathers anymore. His father has a live in girlfriend with 2 boys and my grandson feels like a pauper when at his dads. That the other kids are treated like kings. The other boys call him gay a** bastard. He is been threatened with tabasco sauce on his tongue for saying fudge, flicking being told they are cuss words. The other boys get smartphones where he had his stolen by his father (we bought for him). He is in boy scouts going on 6 years now and loves it. The father has threatened that he will not go if on his weekend. He has been playing baseball for 3 years and dad has only been to 6 games. This year he hasn’t been to any but goes to the other boys games. His dad and the girlfriend are repeatedly telling him that they are going to take him away from us. He gets very upset. We feel that the longer this goes on will cause more problems for him. He lets his anger get the best of him, has a very bad attitude with us, takes things out on his little sister. When he comes back from his dad it take several days for his to settle down. He has adhd and is on meds for. We send the meds but dad doesn’t give it to him. Our grandson wants the meds cause it helps him to focus. With all that is going on with him why can he not say enough I don’t want to go to dad’s? He wants his voice to be heard. He wants to say dad I have a party I was invited to I’m not coming I will call you when I want to visit. Why is it ok for dad to torment him?

  • Eddie

    August 12th, 2017 at 11:58 AM

    My father treats me like I am his slave I have to do every thing for him and it sucks but then I have my mom which is great and all but I still love my dad and don’t want to hurt him what should I do? Anyone’s answer would mean so much to me

  • lilly-rose

    December 14th, 2017 at 4:17 AM

    what if the child is stuck in between both parents, the parents cant communicate and the child keeps on getting told LIES by both parents and is stuck in the middle and has been for 14 years. people say that they lie to us to protect us but when you really think about it, it’ll just hurt more when you actually get told the truth. i was told that my dad chose drugs over me when he found out that my mum was prego with me ( which i dont believe and will never believe unless he tells me himself) and then i got told by my dad that my mum f***** off two months b4 i was born and i was basically abused by my step-dad on my mums side because he would grab me by the wrist and drag me up the stairs because i suggested me going to live with my dad. all i wanted was to live with my dad and still do, even though i get more at my mums like playing basketball and a good school, but thats not what i want, i want a father in my life not a substitute dad and a crap mum who doesnt listen to you or supports you and has her face stuck in her phone all the time and the only escape i have is school and at my dads who i only get to see twice a month. it really sucks!

  • peri

    February 26th, 2018 at 9:49 PM

    My parents are very recently divorced. My dad provides me with everything I need and even more. I’m 15 years old. My mom has been emotionally and verbally abusing me since she kicked my dad out. She tells me I can’t do anything that I think I can. She tells me I’m not trying and I’m not putting forth enough effort. Every day she gloats about how she was Valedictorian and how she has two degrees and I need to live up to that. She not only does that but she compares me to my 10 year old sister. She says I should be more like her. I can’t do it anymore. I look at her and I don’t think “that’s my mom and i’m happy that she is”. I look at her and think “that’s the horrible woman that abuses me everyday and I hate her for it.” I’m never happy when I’m with her, i’m always crying or fighting with her. I want to leave and stay with my dad where i’m happy. Please please please help….

  • Holgot

    September 26th, 2020 at 2:40 PM

    Very helpful article about a very tough circumstance.

  • Karen

    April 4th, 2021 at 11:54 PM

    Great post , it’s actually a great and useful piece of info. I’m happy that you just shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

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