Annandale, VA asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Virginia

Q: I'm 17, and my mom is trying to force me to live with her. Can she force me to live with her instead of my grandparents

My parents seperared 3 years ago and I lived with my dad and rarely saw my mom and she has not contributed to my life at all for 3 years and has not helped pay for anything . My dad is in jail and he gave me permission to live with my grandparents so I've been living here for 3 months so far. My mom is trying to take me away from my grandparents just because she wants me to live with her.

1 Lawyer Answer
Wayne E. Holcomb
Wayne E. Holcomb
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Newport News, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: This is a sticky question. You are still a minor, and your mother is your mother. Assuming she has legal custody, she has a say in what is done with you, certainly in where you reside. That said, it appears that most Judges will not force a minor child of your age, who can drive for example, to live with one parent over the other if you have a strong and reasonable opinion. Grandparents are a little different. If your mother wanted to take this to court and try to establish that living with your grandparents is not in your best interest, things could get more difficult for you if she was able to prove that. Even so, this would be very difficult for her given your age if for no other reason. My opinion is that you should try to work something out with your mother to keep some peace in the family--maybe some time with her? If you are dead set against being with her though, she'll have to pursue your move through a court, usually an expensive and slow process. Good luck and our best to you.

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