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  1. #1
    father4life is offline Junior Member
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    Change of Custody age in Indiana

    Indiana- I am the NCP(father). My daughter is 16 1/2 years old and wants to live with me. She says that she is unhappy at home, struggles with her schoolwork and has very little social interaction with her peers. Most of her time is spent on the computer. She is afraid to discuss it with her mother.
    What are the legal guidelines/teenagers rights for the state of Indiana? Can anyone provide a good link to this information?
    My original attorney told me that a judge would be willing to listen to a child at the age of 12, but I seem to recall reading that 14 is the actual age at which a childs preference would be considered regarding a change of custody.
    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. #2
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    A judge might take her wishes into consideration, but she doesn't have the right to actually choose until she's 18.

    You might find this nigh on impossible if there hasn't been a change of circumstance to justify altering custody.
  3. #3
    Isis1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by father4life View Post
    Indiana- I am the NCP(father). My daughter is 16 1/2 years old and wants to live with me. She says that she is unhappy at home, struggles with her schoolwork and has very little social interaction with her peers. Most of her time is spent on the computer. She is afraid to discuss it with her mother.
    What are the legal guidelines/teenagers rights for the state of Indiana? Can anyone provide a good link to this information?
    My original attorney told me that a judge would be willing to listen to a child at the age of 12, but I seem to recall reading that 14 is the actual age at which a childs preference would be considered regarding a change of custody.
    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
    14 is the age the child's preference will be considered, but it will not be the deciding factor. the child gets to make a legal decision when he/she is no longer a child. at the age of 18.
  4. #4
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    She says that she is unhappy at home, struggles with her schoolwork and has very little social interaction with her peers. Most of her time is spent on the computer
    So if she lives with you her social life will improve, she will not live on-line and she will put more effort into her schoolwork? How will this be accomplished?
  5. #5
    LdiJ is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by father4life View Post
    Indiana- I am the NCP(father). My daughter is 16 1/2 years old and wants to live with me. She says that she is unhappy at home, struggles with her schoolwork and has very little social interaction with her peers. Most of her time is spent on the computer. She is afraid to discuss it with her mother.
    What are the legal guidelines/teenagers rights for the state of Indiana? Can anyone provide a good link to this information?
    My original attorney told me that a judge would be willing to listen to a child at the age of 12, but I seem to recall reading that 14 is the actual age at which a childs preference would be considered regarding a change of custody.
    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Indiana judges give a great deal of leeway in regards to the wishes of older teens. If you filed for primary custody, you would have a decent shot at it if she truly wishes to live with you.

    However...her situation seems like more of a case of her being unhappy with her social life and school situation, rather than a true desire to live with you. Please don't take that wrong dad, I am sure that she loves you and would not be unhappy living with you, but it seems to me that she is motivated more by a hope of change in her social/school situation than truly having an unhappy home life. If moving in with you doesn't have a significant effect on those issues, it may do more harm than good.

    The first paragraph above was a legal opinion, the second was a purely personal one.

    What your daughter may really need is some changes in her life. Moving in with you could effect those changes, but might not. Other things could effect those changes as well.

    As a person who was kind of like your daughter as a teen, what helped me was getting a job just far enough away from home that the kids I worked with weren't the same kids I went to school with. I wasn't popular at school but I was popular at work and a lightbulb went off in my head...and it changed my life forever.

    So...look at what your daughter really needs...and work to effect THAT change. If that means moving in with you, then by all means file for a change in custody. If something else will do it better, work for that.

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