I am assuming in responding to this post, that you have a separation agreement or court order already which outlines your custody arrangement with your daughter.
If the only way custody will change is through your ex-husband taking this issue to court (meaning, you will not agree to change custody), then your approach should be two-fold: first, you should prepare yourself mentally, financially and emotionally for the possible trial. How can you do this? The first rule is, do not just be a great parent to your daughter, be a great visible parent. Make sure other people (your child’s teachers, doctors, coaches, clergyperson, etc)see you being a great parent and would be able to tell a judge how great you are. Think about who some of these people are, and make a list of them including phone numbers and addresses. Your lawyer will want to meet with these people early on in preparing your case.
Second, do what you can to keep a positive and open relationship with your daughter. You do not want to alienate her or resort to manipulating her, the way it sounds like your ex-husband has. Bad parenting is bad parenting, and judges know it when they see it. Additionally, at 14, your daughter is maturing and entering an age when her wishes regarding her custody arrangement may be taken into account by the judge. So keeping a good honest rapport with her will be important as well.
Erik L. Mazzone
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.