Child wants to stop living in fear


My child is 13 years old. She has been living with her Mom about 80% of the time over the last year. Over many years, my ex has demonstrated a pattern of losing self-control and getting violent with my daughter. My daughter has been physically injured by my ex (cuts, bruises, headaches).

I have not notified the authorities because my daughter felt it was not necessary and she wanted to see if things could improve. I believe we have solid physical evidence of the injuries that she has caused. Now my daughter has decided that she has had enough of living in this scary environment, and she wants to live with me permanently. However, she doesn’t want to move out from my ex’s until the school year is up in June, as she wants to finish her school year at her existing school. She is willing to tell her story to the proper authorities, and I believe she is of average maturity for her age. She has also told my ex that she would like to live with me, but the ex won’t have it and the ex may fight like mad to prevent this from happening. I am a few hours away from my ex, but we’re both in NC.

We have shared legal custody, but I have let my ex decide matters such as schools, medical and such. I don’t have much money to do this, and I’m seeking guidance as to what we should do in order to achieve this change of custody in a cost effective manner. I also sometimes travel overseas and I don’t want to need my ex’s permission to travel and live where I want to live.

I am seeking guidance on how to proceed to get permanent legal and physical custody to me beginning after school has ended in June 2011. I don’t know where to go to get this started and I don’t even know what county I should do this in (where I live or where my ex lives). Your help is much appreciated.

You need to file a motion to modify custody based on the substantial change in circumstances (your ex becoming abusive). In your motion you will need to seek full custody.
The motion should be filed now in the county where the current order exists.