Child’s Petition to Change Custody

The most difficult part of any family law case involves custody of children. Parents can often agree on many of the issues resulting from a marriage, but custody and visitation are frequently sticking points.


Once custody has been determined by a Court, parents often want to know at what age can a child determine which parent he or she wants to live with. For some unknown reason, people generally believe that at age 14, a child can make this decision.


By law, a child who is 16 years of age or older and whose custody has been awarded to a parent may file with the court to change custody.


Usually, if a child wants to file suit for an injury or for a contractual claim, he or she must have an adult file the suit. In this limited instance, the child may bring the petition in his or her own name.


In our next blog, we will discuss a child who is not 16 years of age and his or her request to change custody.

Denial of Custody or Visitation

In addition to the protection for a child under the Domestic Violence Statute, the court may deny custody of a child or visitation with a child if the Court has a reasonable ground to believe that a child has been abused or neglected by a party and that the abuse or neglect is likely to continue.


In some situations, the Court can allow visitation at a secure setting such as a court approved visitation center that is monitored and supervised.


The origin for this concept originated in the English Common Law in 1608 and was known as parens patriae.


If you are interested in learning more about the protection of children, please call us for a free consultation at 410-486-0909.