“About seven years ago my fiance was being evicted from her home. With her daughter’s best interests in mind she signed over temporary guardianship to the child’s father with the understanding that the child would be returned to her once she got back on her feet. When she attempted to retrieve her daughter the father refused to give her back. She attempted to take him to court. A man claiming to be the fathers attorney contacted her and told her that guardianship can only be terminated by the guardian, and that if she pursued this matter any further the father would refuse to let her see her daughter anymore. Frightened by the call she let the matter drop fearing she would lose her daughter if she didn’t. Now her daughter is twelve and is old enough to make her own decision, however her father has made it clear that if she leaves him he will never forgive her. She desperately wants to live with her mother, but is terrified of her father. So my question is this: Is there anything that my fiance can do to obtain her daughter without forcing the girl to choose between them. All parties reside in Ohio. Thank you for your time and interest in this matter.”
It is actually a good idea to not have the 12 year old make the decision. If your fiance wants to gain custody of her daughter she can either try to work it out with the child’s father or file a motion with the Court to modify the custody and visitation schedule. The Court or its personnel may wish to interview the girl to find out where she stands and how she feels, but only if it is indicated in the process.
If your fiance wants to make sure there is no possibility that daughter is never interviewed or questioned regarding her parental preferences, she would need to decide to never file anything. Unfortunately, though a person may know what they want, there may not be a way to get there without going through steps that they do not want to take.