What To Do When The Child Wants To Change Custody

Question

My child has a job and has for about a year. My child graduates in about five months. She’s mature and tired of his immature and manipulative tendencies. I worry he will one day lock her out of the house like he did her 3 brothers when they became 17 or 18. She’s the youngest and I think his insecurity is too much to cope with. She shouldn’t have to be the one comforting him. She should be focusing on her graduation instead.

What we need to know is what could he do if she just packs up and leaves. We didn’t have a custody battle. When I divorced him I left the kids with him so they wouldn’t be traumatized as much if they could stay in their home and be with their friends. He didn’t even show up to court. What can he do? Will the police do anything or would he have to petition the court?

Answer

In Utah, the court must consider the desires of a 17-year-old daughter if it is asked to change custody. The police do not have authority to pick up your daughter unless the court signs a specific order directing them to pick up a child. This type of order is rarely given for a 17-year-old and would require a hearing. If your daughter packed up and left her custodial home, the father could bring an Order to Show Cause to enforce the decree. Since you are also bound by the Divorce Decree, you should consult an attorney to make sure that you are not exposing yourself to a contempt of court allegation.

Cameron JohnsonWhat To Do When The Child Wants To Change Custody