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No, a court will not let your niece decide where she wants to live. However, if her mother wants to file for custody, a court may take your niece’s wishes into consideration when deciding what is in her best interests.

Good luck!

Shonnese D. Stanback
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.256.1534 direct voice
919.256.1667 direct fax
919.787.6668 main voice
919.787.6361 main fax

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.


I am posting on behalf of my neice. She will be 17 in Febuary and currently her father has custody. My sister-in-law signed over custody when she was only 5 years old. My sister in law has her on wednesday and every other weekend. My neice is very upset living with her father. She wants to live with my sister-in-law. The problem is her father threatens her all the time. Not physically, but mentally. He does absolutly nothing for her, all the child support that my sister in law sends to him he spends on himself.
My question is, is my neice leagally able at 16 to decide where she wants to live?