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What should you do if your teen wants a child custody change?

If you got a divorce some time ago when your child was young, you probably still remember the challenges you faced during child custody proceedings. After a lot of negotiating and hard work, you and your co-parent finally reached a custody agreement that met everyone's needs.

This arrangement seemed to work well for a long time. However, now your child is a teen, and they want to change your hard-won agreement.

Many parents feel rejected if their teen asks to live with the other parent all the time, but it is a common request. While you and your attorney can request a modification to your child custody agreement, it may make you feel better to find out what prompted the request from your teen.

In Illinois, children who are 14 and older can choose to live with one parent rather than the other. However, a judge has the authority to deny the request if that arrangement isn't in the child's best interests.

Some things to look for if your teen wants to live with their other parent include the following.

  • Is your teen requesting a change to have more freedom and fewer restrictions?
  • Is your child angry with you or the other parent and lashing out by asking for a child custody modification?
  • Is there something going on in your home or your ex's home that upsets the teen?

While making a child custody change is sometimes beneficial to a young person's well-being, both parents need to be part of the decision. Taking an active role may help uncover any hidden reason a child might suddenly want a different living arrangement. An experienced family law attorney can help protect your interests if you and/or your co-parent seek modifications to your custody agreement.

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