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plclegal, Barrister
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9054
Experience:  Barrister at law
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My step daughter age 13 wants to live with her dad and me

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JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: My step daughter age 13 wants to live with her dad and me full time. At the moment we have her every Thursday and every other weekend. We have asked her mother about mediation several times but she had expressed she does not wish to do this. We have also tired to discuss changing out agreement to split the weeks to try and keep a good relation ship but also try to help my step daughter feel like she is being listed to
JA: What steps have your stepdaughter and her mother taken? Has she filed any papers in the family court?
Customer: Our agreement isn’t legally binding as it was made when she was younger and for the most part Mia was happy with the arrangement but the last few years she has expressed she wants to change residency
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county does she live in?
Customer: We are in the UK, if any it would be Suffolk but we have not been to court before for the custody agreement
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: They relationships at her mothers have broken down especially with her step dad which is making it more difficult for her to tell them how she feels

Hello and thank you for the question. I’ll do my best to assist you and provide an accurate and speedy response. Please bear with me as this is an email service and not live chat. Also note that the discussions here are for general information purposes only and do not constitute a lawyer client relationship.

I’ll review and come back to you as soon as I can.

Just to confirm - is there a court order in place or just a mutual agreement?

Is Mia saying she wants no contact at all with her mum, or has she suggested what she feels might be workable?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
There is no court order currently in place just a mutual agreement between her mother and father. She wants to have her main residency at her dads and stay with her mum at weekends.

Thank you. Firstly, as there is no court order in place, there is nothing legally preventing her from simply moving to her dad's anyway.

At 13, Mia knows her own mind and if she has decided she wants to have her main home with her dad, then there isn't really anything her mother can do about this.

It would only need to go to court if mother would not accept the change and refused access to Mia, for example. Otherwise, mother has to accept her daughter's wishes, as this is what the court will say.

In order to get to court, it is compulsory to at least try mediation, but if mum won't engage with mediation that just means that the initial assessment with dad will be the only session and then the mediator would sign off on the court application.

Is there anything in particular I can clarify for you?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No that covers all of our questions thank you

My pleasure, very happy to have helped.

Thank you for your enquiry today. I am happy to answer follow-up questions - please do get in touch with requests for extra information or further queries and I will do my best to help you. You can request me personally on a new question thread saving my profile as one of your preferred experts and by tagging me (@PLCLEGAL) at the start of the new thread. Best wishes, Peter.

Have a great day!

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