What to do if I’m 16 and my parents are divorced with joint custody and I currently live with my mom but would like to live with my dad?

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2012

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What to do if I’m 16 and my parents are divorced with joint custody and I currently live with my mom but would like to live with my dad?

My mom keeps saying no. Would my dad get into trouble if I just went and moved in with him?

Asked on September 17, 2012 under Family Law, Florida


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Regardless of how you feel right now, both of your parents have to abide by the court orders.  If you just "go and move in" with your dad, I'm sure he would love having more time with you, but yes... he could get into trouble for not abiding by court orders.  However, you are not completely without options.  The first is to talk to your parents about a change in your living arrangements.  Most divorce decrees have set orders, with a "catch-all" provision that reads visitation is at "x" periods of time "and any other times mutually agreed upon by the conservators."  This means, that your parents can agree to change the visitation schedule -- if they have this type of provision.  You might suggest letting you test out the new living arrangement before making the change permanent with court orders.  If your parents cannot agree, then your dad could file a motion to modify the court order on the basis that you would like to go live with him.  This tends to be a bit messier emotionally, but it can accoplish what you are seeking, which is a change in living arrangements. 

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