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Can I force my child to stay with me?

Child custody typically gets easier the older a child gets. Depending on how amicable the divorced parents are, many teenage children are given some say when it comes to their schedule and custody arrangement. Unfortunately, giving a minor child a say in placement also opens parents up to the possibility of not seeing their child as much. Before forcing your child to spend time with you, you may want to consider discussing the issue with your ex or your attorney.

Many divorced parents are under the misconception that there is a definitive age where a minor child may choose which parent to live with. Although every state has their own interpretation of custody laws, a child is considered a minor and typically subject to the family court's custody decision until they are 18.

Unfortunately, the family court usually does not take into account the stubborn teenage years when modifying custody and therefore may only modify it if there is a need to do so. They may however, choose to take a closer look at the child's home life if there is any concern for their well-being. It is for this reason that it may be in a parent's best interest to work through these placement issues with the child's other parent or an attorney, rather than bringing them to the court's attention. If for example, the other parent approves of a custody modification, they may try to support their action through irrational complaints or false allegations.

All types of issues come into play when a child is forced to have two homes. Proximity to school and friends, stepsiblings, and even their parent's work schedule may prompt a child to seek a change in the placement schedule. Addressing these issues with your attorney, your ex and your child may help keep the issue out of family court and help you come to a resolution that works best for you and your child.

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Minutes From Downtown Sacramento

Our office is conveniently located off Highway 50, just three miles from the Sacramento County Family Courthouse and minutes from Downtown Sacramento. For your convenience, we accept all major credit cards.

Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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