I am 17-years-old and I currently live in Florida. My parents have split custody of me. I have been living with my father for a little over a year now and I would like to move back in with my mother. I was told by my mom that I have the right to decide which parent I would like to live with upon turning 12-years-old. My father has told me that he will decide who I will live with and that I have no choice in the matter. Can you clarify if whether or not I can move back in with my mother without my father’s consent?
Your parents can choose to modify the child custody order if you would like to live solely your mother. However, your father may or may not agree to the terms of the modification.
Generally, even after a child reaches a certain age, such child is not allowed to “choose” which parent they would like to live with. The court will decide what is in the child’s best interest, which includes relying on the input from various experts such as therapists and family law professionals.
Because you are almost 18-years-old, meaning that you will be an adult in less than a year, the judicial system is less likely to get involved with your decision regarding which parent you would like to live with, in contrast to a child that is much younger. This is in large part due to the fact that by the time any legal action is concluded, the issue may be moot because you are now an adult.