Atlanta, GA asked in Child Custody, Juvenile Law and Family Law for Georgia

Q: Can a 17 year old up and live with Dad? (In Georgia)

I’m a 17 year old who is not happy being with my mom, For months i am mentally not happy. I just want to stay with my dad after i get out of school for the summer May 24th 2023. Many arguments, i was starting to do poorly in school here at my moms when i used to be a student that would excel. I know a counselor would be the first choice of recommendation, but a counselor just never happened. My mom and dad clearly do not get along but my dad makes the efforts to make peace within the whole situation. My mom constantly bashes my dad over and over again, i know those two don’t see eye to eye and it’s not my fault nor place to really be in. She tries to control my decisions. There’s a lot more to the story but long story short, i heard that at 17 years old, i am able to pack my things and stay with my dad in georgia. I know Custody is a thing . But is that true? After i finish the school year as a 17 year old 11th grader, could i just pack my things and be with my dad?

1 Lawyer Answer
Alake Colwell Furlow
Alake Colwell Furlow
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Dacula, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: If you leave your mother to go and live with your father without a court order, your father would technically be kidnapping if he refused to produce you back to your mother. If you want to live with your father the proper way to go about that is for your father to either file to modify an existing Court order, if he has ever been given any visitation with you, or if not, file to establish custody, which would be to legitimize. Or you could wait until you're 18. But legally your mother has custody until the Court signs an order giving your father custody. Therefore, if you simply go live with your father, your mother could call the police and you could be forced to go back to her home.

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