My parents are divorced, can I pick who I want to live with?

Question:

My parents are divorced, can I pick who I want to live with?

I’m 16 and my parents have been divorced for a few years now. When I’m at my dad’s he gets really angry really fast and blames all his problems on me and normally will take his anger out on me by hitting me, sitting on me, etc. I told my dad I was going to stay with my mom and he said no, by law he picks where I go. Is this true? Can I choose where I want to live?

Answer:

No, you can not chose where you want to live until your 18th birthday.

Your mother, on the other hand can request that the court modify the Parenting Time; that is the time that you have with your father. She can also ask that you be interviewed by someone from the court. Although you do not get to decide what is best for you, yet, at 16 the judge must take your wishes into consideration.

If your mom is unwilling to file for a modification, your best bet is to tough it out until your 18th birthday. As well, if you feel that you are being abused, you do have the right to call the police, but I would encourage you to avoid that if at all possible as it may also make things go from bad to worse between you and your dad.

You can let your mom know that we would be happy to discuss the matter with her for free, although you legally can not participate in the consultation.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

Offices Valley-wide:
Arrowhead: 17235 N. 75th Avenue, Suite E-100, Glendale, AZ
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