Q: My step daughters father has filed for custody stating that she is suffering from severe anxiety and depression due to
Him moving over 4 years ago. He’s also claiming that she has said she’s miserable here and wants to live with him. We know he has involved her heavily throughout this whole process which is against the previous order. My wife has checked with everyone involved with her day to day life, and they all say that she shows no signs of either anxiety of depression. She also shows none with us. Does she have a good chance at winning this case?
A: The issues involved in your situation are much to complex to analyze in a quick answering on a website. You need to seek out and get a consultation with a practicing attorney in the area where your case will be heard. So much of this type of law is based on the decision making of one person, the judge assigned to your case. An experienced attorney in your area should know the judges and how they think. I can tell you generally that a child's stated wishes are not dispositive on the issue at ANY age. I get calls all the time with statements mades such as "the child is 12 can't they just choose?" The answer is no and I have had many cases that the judge did not follow the stated wishes of a child. Children of any age are easily manipulated and seldom know what is best for them. However, their testimony does carry weight and if this child is going to testify that she wants to live with her father, depending on her age and the reasons given, it may be difficult to overcome. It is just best that you speak to someone experienced in the county where you reside and go through all the facts in detail.
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