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Answered 2012-01-05 00:04:24

Your parent must request a modification in the court ordered custody.

In virtually every state in the USA you can not choose which parent to live with as long as you are a minor. When parents are divorced the court issues a custody order that addresses both physical and legal custody. Sometimes the parents are mature and both desire to make the divorce as comfortable as possible for the children and they agree on an arrangement. In that case the court makes that agreement the custody order. If the parents cannot agree the court will decide the best arrangement and issue a custody and visitation order.

Some states require that a judge review a child's request and the reasons for their request but the final decision lies with the judge who will render an order that the court determines is in the best interest if the child.

It is a common fact amongst divorced families that one parent, usually the non-custodial parent, is more permissive, buys the children more, plays the children against the other parent, doesn't want to pay child support, has an unrealistic view of what physical custody would involve and generally does not take on the role of disciplinarian. That is not good parenting and often happens when the parents are not on the best terms. It casts the custodial parent in the role of the bad guy. The result is the children want to live with that non-custodial parent. No amount of whining or fighting or sabotage can change the court ordered custody arrangement but that type of situation creates unnecessary stress in an already stressful situation. On the other hand, with short term visitations the non-custodial parent often needn't deal with more serious day to day issues nor with discipline.

The change in custody cannot be made without the court's approval. The court order must be modified and the parent who wishes to have it modified must provide evidence that the custodial parent is unfit and the change of custody would be in the best interest of the children. The parents should explain this reality to the children so they will stop thinking they can live with the other parent simply by choice.

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