Contrary to popular belief, there is no golden age at … At what age can a child decide where she wants to live. After the age of 12, however, the court may consider the child’s wishes in conjunction with other factors. However, even younger children are permitted to state their preference, and their wishes can be documented even if the child doesn’t speak before the court. For example, one parent may buy the child toys and sweets. If the Child is Over the Age of 14. Your age and maturity will make a difference. Some parents believe that a child can choose who they want to live with. If the Child is Over the Age of 14. Currently, there is no specific age where the Court will consider the wishes of a child in deciding custody matters. Q & A with Clarissa- At what age can my children choose where they want to live? Well, when a child reaches 16 they are legally able to decide where they wish to live, unless there is a Residence Order or Child Arrangement Order that specifies living arrangement up to 18. Therefore, there is no specific age in Wisconsin where a child is able to decide which parent they want to live with. An attorney can submit details of the child… If a child is able to voice their opinions, then they can state which parent they choose to reside with. Let me to dispel this perception. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. But if you’re wondering when SHE can choose, thats more her choice. When your child is over 14, it is more … The judge does not have to follow the child’s wishes. In Kentucky family court cases, including those in Louisville or Oldham County, parenting schedules are set by what is in the best interests of the child. t’s much less simple for children under the age of 17. A child need not be at this magic number, but generally it is a good number. They say any child below the teen areas have less influence on custody than those around the age of 15 or 16 due to maturity. What is the age that a child can choose who they live with? At What Age Can a Child Choose Where to Live? The court will consider the preference in making a custody determination but is not bound by the preference. Ideally, both parents would understand and want what is best for their child. If your parents go to court, the court might want to know what you think about what’s happening. There are lots of articles on the internet about this, and a good number suggest that at a certain age e.g. At What Age Can a Child Choose Where to Live? There are circumstances wherein you can get a divorce in Pennsylvania without your spouse's signature. As you can see, there is no magic age the court will allow to, by … I have seen children as young as seven (7) make viable witnesses in custody and change of custody cases. Although the state of Indiana doesn’t explicitly allow children to decide which parent they want to live with, the child’s wishes are taken into consideration once the child turns fourteen. The court will consider the preference in making a custody determination but is not bound by the preference. Many times, due the multiple factors that a court considers in determining the best interest of the child, decisions are very fact dependent and each case must be evaluated individually. According to GA Code § 19-9-3 (5), children who are 14 years old or older may choose which parent they want to live with primarily. A child’s insight into its life with each parent, when intelligently and maturely expressed by the child, is far more important than the child’s age. Most fourteen year olds are mature enough to make good witnesses. According to the Children’s Protection Act of South Africa, no child (under the age of 18) can choose which parent they want to live with. It is up to individual parents to decide at what age they allow the child to make the decision about where they wish to live. Very few children understand that a parent with no or few rules may not be the best parent in the long run (assuming that the rules imposed by the stricter parent are reasonable, of course). Such discussions help the Judge determine if a parent’s main intent is to be the child’s friend instead of the child’s parent. The Child's Preference in Custody Cases. 12th January 2018 Family Law We are often contacted by parents asking at what age children can decide for themselves where they will live after a divorce or separation. ***The above is only for information purposes and does not constitute legal advice. They will each concentrate on parenting the child and not winning its affection by relaxing the rules and being the child’s friend first and parent second. If you’re in trouble, we can help. Your child may be able to wish upon a star and have his dreams come true but not necessarily in a divorce or paternity case as to his choice of parent in Illinois. Texas family code accounts for a child’s opinion no matter the age. This can create further conflict, hard feelings and strain on the relationships. The answer is “it depends.”. Texas does not allow children to choose where to live at any age. I was asked this again just the other day. This communication does not … If you think that your child’s preference could be a factor in your custody case, contact our office today for a consultation and we will be more than happy to discuss with you the facts and circumstances unique to your case. As a result, it is not accurate to say that when a child reaches 12 years old they will have the right to choose which parent to live with. At age 12 and above, a child can state a preference of where they want to live. As they get older, however, their opinion can have a greater weight with the court. The mere age of your child will not determine your family law matter. They take direction well (our firm preps EVERY witness in advance of a hearing or trial) and respond favorably to different stimuli in his or her home life. (Parents are frequently not present for these discussions as children are very easily influenced by just a parent’s presence let alone what a parent might be moved to say.). Can a child in Rhode Island decide where they want to live? Many children prefer the parent with the fewest “rules” favoring the one who lets the child “get away with” bad or inappropriate behavior more than the other. I was asked this again just the other day. Until then it is ultimately the decision of the parents to decide or if they cannot agree, a child arrangement order will specify where the child lives. And if you have been a good parent, you will have little to worry about. It is easy to see that age will have nothing to do with the Judge’s decision, right? To go back to the initial question, “At what age can a child decide where they want to live?”, there is no age in which a child can decide where they want to live because they are a minor. A child’s insight into its life with each parent, when intelligently and maturely expressed by the child, is far more important than the child’s age. Davis Divorce Law is open, processing current divorces and accepting new clients. To which of those two children’s idea of good parenting will the Judge give the most weight? Most fourteen year … Instead, the judge in each case must determine whether the child is mature enough to have a reasonable preference. In other cases, again based upon the court’s discretion and determination, an individual child might not have sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent decision at the age of 15. Factors considered for when a child can choose which parent to live with: 1. age of the child: There is no set age in Australia and it is a factor to be considered. The answer can be complicated and is often “situation specific”, i.e., every family is different and thus custody will depend on the situation of that particular family. A child’s preference can be very important in helping a judge determine which parent should have primary custody. At what age can a child decide which parent to live with? The laws relating to a child's preference for … wanting to live in their childhood home, stay at the same school, etc.) As a result, it is not accurate to say that when a child reaches 12 years old they will have the right to choose which parent to live with. Generally speaking, a judge will take the time to interview children between the ages of 9 and 17 to find out what their preferences are when it comes to living arrangements and child custody. In it, you'll find all the details you need to make this important decision in your life at no cost to you. Some people believe there is a specific age at which a child can choose. Children up to the age of 17 have had their wishes ignored. At What Age Can a Child Decide Which Parent to Live With? Though many people believe that after the age of 12 or 14, the choice is entirely in the child’s hands, Ohio law doesn’t give minors that power. However, just because the child wishes to live with one parent doesn’t mean the judge will grant that wish. 10, 12 or 16, a child can make their own decision. Her sister lives in Ct. and she would like to move back … At Streeterlaw, we are often asked ‘at what age can a child decide where they want to live?’ Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to that question. There is a common misconception that in Family Law parenting disputes about with whom a child will live, a child will have the deciding vote when they reach the age of … Many parents tell me their child will be 12 years old, 13 years old, 14 years old soon and will be able to make their own decisions. This is not the case. At the age of 14 , the child is typically expected to give a statement, as well. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. With or without specific statutes, most states do not set a definitive age at which a child is old enough to voice her opinion regarding which parent she wants to live with. When a Minor Child Can Choose Where to Live. Once a child reaches the age of 16, he/she is legally allowed to choose which parent to live with. Texas family code accounts for a child’s opinion no matter the age. Our daughter and he … WHEN CAN CHILDREN DECIDE WHICH PARENT TO LIVE WITH? As a family law lawyer, I am frequently asked this question. The legal standard for child custody determinations is the best interest of the child. Divorce Divorced Parents: Kids Should Decide Where They Live/Custody Divorce can be ugly, but it doesn't have to be ugly for the kids. In other word’s, the child’s reasons for their decision were not deemed mature and appropriate. A child’s desire in which parent to reside is one of many factors the Court will consider. However, a child does not need to be over 16 to have an influence on where they would like to live. A child can always choose to address the court and be heard regarding which parent they would like to live with. Why can’t a child decide which parent they want to live with? Also, sometimes child preference can be a factor when there are disparate conditions in both parents’ households and living conditions. In the state of Minnesota, there is no set age where a child can choose which parent to live with, so it is generally left to the parents and the courts, if needed and the older the child, the more weight this opinion (or preference) carries. Over the years, I have had clients tell me that a child or children wants to live with one particular parent most of the time or all of the time and the next question is “How old does a child have to be to choose which parent to live with?” These folks “hear” that if a child is 12 (or 13 or 14 or 15…), the child has the right to make the final decision as to with whom the child wishes to stay. California courts base child custody decisions on the legal doctrine known as "the best interests of the child." Laws differ by state, but last I checked, there isn’t really any legitimate age when a child can choose. Even Judges have hearts but more importantly, Judges know that by speaking with the child in the Judge’s office, what is best for the child may be more easily determined. Because their judgement may be skewed. When your child is over 14, it is more likely that the courts will allow them to voice their preference. There are, of course, life circumstances where, day-to-day, one parent’s occupation will not allow as much time being spent with a child, but the Judge understands and considers that. A child’s best interests are the primary focus of Texas family law and do not specify a specific age for a child’s right to choose. Ultimately, it is going to be the opinion of the court and what is in the best interest of the child. Get my free information guide by filling out the form below. Possible Consideration of a Child's Age When Determining Custody. To determine the child’s best interest, the judge will consider a number of different factors, including each of the following: the child’s age; the child’s relationship with each parent and anyone else who may affect the child’s welfare Under current Ohio law, minor children cannot choose where they will live once their parents get divorced. Ohio law used to allow children of a certain age to choose which parent they wanted to live with after a divorce, but this is no longer the case. Frequently, the person asking is under the impression that a child can make their own decision after they turn 12; I am not sure where this persistent rumor comes from but it may have something to do with parents thinking custody in the event of their death. Posted Nov 02, 2012 At the age of 14 , the child is typically expected to give a statement, as well. The short answer is that children can make their own decisions about where they will reside once they reach the age of majority, which is 18 in Canada. It is no guarantee that your 12yo child will be able to choose where to live. For starters, any child age 17 or older can choose the parent he/she prefers to live with. An attorney can submit details of … A child’s preference can be most effective when both parents are equally “fit,” all living conditions for the child are relatively equal, and the child is fourteen (14) years of age or over. A child’s best interests are the primary focus of Texas family law and do not specify a specific age for a child’s right to choose. This is a report done by a specially trained person who talks to you and writes down what you tell them. Can my child choose where he"ll live?" A child need not be at this magic number, but generally it is a good number. 25/04/2017 Author: Clarissa Rayward “My son is almost 14 and daughter almost 12. When both parents are on the same good-parenting page, a child is less likely to have a strong preference and the Court avidly supports the child spending as close to equal time with each parent as possible… and that should be the parents’ goal as well. In such a discussion, the Judge will assess the child’s maturity and ability to understand the situation. For example, there may be a Residence Order or a Child Arrangement Order in place. However, if parents can’t agree, the court will decide. But, this does not mean that a child… All other consultations are a $250 fee. Do You Need To File For Divorce in the State You Were Married In. Texas does not allow children to choose where to live at any age. When there is a dispute about where or with whom a child will primarily live, the child’s wishes are just one of a number of factors a … The law also accommodates children who do not wish to testify by requiring the court to provide an alternative means of obtaining both input from the child and other information regarding the child's preference. Child custody is one of the most complex matters in a Colorado divorce case.Determining which parent will receive joint, shared, or full custody of children will become a decision of the court, if the parents cannot agree to custody terms on their own. At what age can a child choose which parent they should live with? In deciding which parent should have custody of a child, South Carolina’s family courts focus on the “best interests of the child” which includes the child’s reasonable preference for custody. A child cannot legally decide who they want to live with until the age of 16 unless there is a child arrangement order in place that has been extended until they are 17 or 18 years old. The reasonable preference of the child is also taken into consideration in Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee if the child is 12 years of age or older. Legal Age For Child To Choose Custody. A child cannot choose which parent they want to live until they are 18-years-old. But as a child gets closer to the age of majority, which is 18 years old in Ontario, they have more say about where and with whom they live. Currently there is no specific age where the Court will consider the wishes of a child in deciding custody matters. A child’s wishes must be considered by both the Guardian ad Litem and the Court once the child reaches an age where they are able to articulate those wishes. There have been cases before the Court where a 17 year old child’s wishes were given limited weight because the basis for this child’s decision was not balanced. CONTACT THE LANCASTER LAW FIRM TO SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION. There are many factors that come into play when the courts determine with whom the child will live. The Older the Child Is, The More Likely the Child Can Choose Which Parent to Live with in South Carolina Under South Carolina law, a child is a person who is under the age of 18. Family Code Section 3042 requires the Court to consider and give due weight to a child’s preference regarding custody if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to … Many children and parents often wonder at what age a child can decide their own custody/ living arrangements.. A child cannot legally “decide” which parent to live with; as seen above, there are numerous other factors to consider, and in many cases, the family law courts will make a decision based on what they believe to be in the best interest of the child. There is no specific age when Alabama courts must consider a child's opinion. It is difficult to be both and being mainly the child’s friend is usually an easier path even if it is not the best decision for the child. At what age will the court consider the child’s wishes? Their preference can evolve over time, driven by a variety of factors (e.g. Click here to read the full statement. 2. child’s level of maturity: In this regard the Court is assisted by a family consultant (generally We don’t require any sort of court appearance or office visit – you’ll go no further than your own mailbox for the entire process. 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