Move to different county?

It sounds like you should file for modification of custody or emergency temporary custody due to abandonment. Please document or record as much of this information as you can. I am not sure about where to file but I would assume that it must be filed where the order is currently held.
Filing for emergency temporary custody would get it heard sooner. I believe that within 30 days there must be a hearing. Have the ex sign something if possible stating that the custody arrangement has changed. You are correct in that the sooner something changes legally, the better.

Just to clarify my earlier post, the custodial parent was awarded primary physical custody, with the other having secondary custody in the form of visitation. Both parents have joint LEGAL custody. In this instance, would a modification of the custody agreement even be necessary?

BTW, the custodial parent (the one who stated they wanted nothing to do with the child) has since spoken to the child on the phone and stated that they don’t want the child to move out of their house, that they were just upset and frustrated when they said that. Right after that statement, they told the child that it’s hard because they are going through a divorce right now. The child told the parent that they were sorry for what the parent was going through, and the parent then proceeded to tell the child that maybe the estranged spouse would’ve stuck around if the child had treated that person better.

Isn’t this emotional abuse?

Yes, a change of physical custody would need to be made. I still suggest that you file for emergency custody. The reasons behind what the custodial parent did and said do not make up for the damage that may have already been done.
If the custodial parent is going through a divorce then it’s probably best to first find out if he/she is willing to agree to modify custody and then if not proceed with the next step. Consult with an attorney as soon as possible. I still believe filing for emergency custody would be the quickest way to get this heard but maybe there are other routes that an attorney would suggest.

NO child should EVER be blamed for a divorce; even a divorce from a stepparent. Step-relationships are very delicate and a child should never be forced to alter thier feelings so that the parent gets what they want or be forced to choose. Maybe the stepparent and child could not get along (it does sometimes happen) and so the adult refused to make the spouse(parent)choose which would only leave the option of divorce…Maybe the parent did choose the child over their spouse but is a little bitter about being forced to choose…

I’m so sorry if this is your situation. It sounds very painful all the way around. I’ll keep you and your family in my thoughts.

You would first need to file for a change of venue in the county where the custodial action is pending and ask them to move the matter to your county.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

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I would like to know if a non-custodial parent can file for change of custody in their county of residence if there’s already a permanent order from the custodial parent’s county of residence in place.
It’s been a yr since the original order was signed by the judge.

The custodial parent has decided that they don’t want to play parent anymore and sent the child away to the non-custodial parent’s home, telling unrelated third parties that the child is now the “other parent’s problem”. Also, custodial parent has stated to any others that will listen that they are planning on terminating their parental rights.
Child has now been with non-custodial parent since beginning of month; the sooner paperwork can be done, the better. The original order took the court 4 YEARS to hear from the time of filing until the time of signing by the judge, as that court is so back-logged with cases.