A child over the age of 12 can express their preference, and their opinion should have significant weight in the court's decision. 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. 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. Ultimately, it is going to be the opinion of the court and what is in the best interest of the child. The simple fact is that a child’s age has very little to do with it and Pennsylvania law does not recognize any particular age as allowing a child to automatically decide. 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. This communication does not create an attorney/client relationship and is not legal advice. At the age of 14 , the child is typically expected to give a statement, as well. The court will consider the preference in making a custody determination but is not bound by the preference. Many children and parents often wonder at what age a child can decide their own custody / living arrangements. We regularly get asked at what age can a child decide which parent she or he will live with. But if you’re wondering when SHE can choose, thats more her choice. Can my child choose where he"ll live?" ***The above is only for information purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Texas does not allow children to choose where to live at any age. 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. Can a 15 year old choose to live with their grandparents? A child’s preference can be very important in helping a judge determine which parent should have primary custody. As you can see, there is no magic age the court will allow to, by … Until they are age 18, children are bound to live with their parents or guardians UNLESS there is a court order directing otherwise. t’s much less simple for children under the age of 17. 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. How To Get a Pennsylvania Divorce Without Your Spouse’s Signature, Filing a Pennsylvania Divorce With Out of State Spouse. 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 Law Became More Specific Concerning a Child’s Age in … A child’s desire in which parent to reside is one of many factors the Court will consider. Age Limit. Children under the age of 14 can testify in a custody hearing as long as the judge determines that it is appropriate and in that child's best interest. Our daughter and he … Click here to read the full statement. It is easy to see that age will have nothing to do with the Judge’s decision, right? 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. California courts base child custody decisions on the legal doctrine known as "the best interests of the child." In those that do, the magic number is often a teenage year; the older your child is, the more likely it … There is no specific age when Alabama courts must consider a child's opinion. At age 12 and above, a child can state a preference of where they want to live. We regularly get asked at what age can a child decide which parent she or he will live with. However, just because the child wishes to live with one parent doesn’t mean the judge will grant that wish. The Lancaster Law Firm is a full service Law Firm with 2 offices in Central Arkansas. The only reason this wouldn’t apply is if there’s a Court Order stating that a child must remain with a certain parent until a certain time. In many instances of child custody and changes in custody, parents want to know what effect, if any, their child or children’s preferences will have with the court or the judge. Q & A with Clarissa- At what age can my children choose where they want to live? After the age of 12, however, the court may consider the child’s wishes in conjunction with other factors. If the Child is Over the Age of 14. 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. Legal Age For Child To Choose Custody. 25/04/2017 Author: Clarissa Rayward “My son is almost 14 and daughter almost 12. Ideally, both parents would understand and want what is best for their child. You can also ask your parents to get a Hear the Child Report. Instead, the judge in each case must determine whether the child is mature enough to have a reasonable preference. 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. 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. After the age of 12, however, the court may consider the child’s wishes in conjunction with other factors. For example, one parent may buy the child toys and sweets. 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. A nine-year-old may tell the Judge that a parent loves the child because that parent does what is best for the child even if it may make the child … 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. 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. However, because no two children develop at the same rate, there is no specific age at which a child "gets to decide". Many children and parents often wonder at what age a child can decide their own custody/ living arrangements.. A child cannot choose which parent they want to live until they are 18-years-old. In other word’s, the child’s reasons for their decision were not deemed mature and appropriate. To which of those two children’s idea of good parenting will the Judge give the most weight? Instead, the judge in each case must determine whether the child is mature enough to have a reasonable preference. A child can decide where they want to live at age 18. And if you have been a good parent, you will have little to worry about. Accordingly, if you are wondering whether or not your 13-year-old will be permitted by the Judge to stay with you, I trust that you now understand that your child’s ability to express itself intelligently and maturely will carry most of the weight. Also, sometimes child preference can be a factor when there are disparate conditions in both parents’ households and living conditions. Posted Nov 02, 2012 Can a child in Rhode Island decide where they want to live? Contrary to popular belief, there is no golden age at … wanting to live in their childhood home, stay at the same school, etc.) At what age will the court consider the child’s wishes? This is a really frequent question and it is entirely understandable. There are many factors that come into play when the courts determine with whom the child will live. In it, you'll find all the details you need to make this important decision in your life at no cost to you. As they get older, however, their opinion can have a greater weight with the court. 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. t’s much less simple for children under the age of 17. All Rights Reserved. The major problem with such divorces is that they are quite the opposite of "low-cost". 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. and this is something the Courts will take into consideration when finalizing child custody arrangements. If a child is able to voice their opinions, then they can state which parent they choose to reside with. Most fourteen year olds are mature enough to make good witnesses. 2. child’s level of maturity: In this regard the Court is assisted by a family consultant (generally Your family law attorney will be able to work with you and your child if they are between these ages. 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. 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 … From a practical standpoint, however, family law judges in Louisville and Oldham County are probably going to give more weight to the wishes of a 16-year-old than the desires of a six-year-old. 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. Under certain circumstances, grand parents can file a petition for custody, but there no guarantee that custody would be awarded to them. If your parents go to court, the court might want to know what you think about what’s happening. Once a child reaches the age of 16, he/she is legally allowed to choose which parent to live with. 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. 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. Most fourteen year … *Please note, consultations for Bankruptcy & Personal Injury are free of charge. Can my child choose which parent they want to live with? There is no magic age number when a child can decide who to live with under North Carolina law. 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). At what age can a child choose which parent they should live with? It is no guarantee that your 12yo child will be able to choose where to live. 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. Contrary to popular belief, there is no golden age at which a child’s views will be determinative. 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. This is not the case. All other consultations are a $250 fee. A child can decide where they want to live at age 18. Oftentimes, children can vocalize a preference of which parent they would prefer to live with. At What Age Can a Child Choose Where to Live? What is the age that a child can choose who they live with? In terms of child custody, the most important thing to remember is that the court’s decision is based on what’s in the best interest of the child(ren). A child’s desire in which parent to reside is one of many factors the Court will consider. Posted in Child Custody on February 13, 2019. The legal standard for child custody determinations is the best interest of the child. 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. Your age and maturity will make a difference. Perhaps more importantly, the Judge will see that the child may choose a particular parent for the wrong reason. 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. Determining custody in divorce cases is often messy and emotionally charged. When Can a Child Choose Which Parent to Live with in Rhode Island? A child can always choose to address the court and be heard regarding which parent they would like to live with. That is too bad for me as it decreases the number of clients I... We have been BBB Accredited since 5/30/1990. If the child can only express a whim, such as “Mom lets me stay up later so I want to live with her” or “Dad won’t let me play video games on weeknights so I don’t want to live with him,” then the court will not admit evidence about the child’s preference because the child’s opinion is … Texas family code accounts for a child’s opinion no matter the age. (Incidentally, Judges have heard literally everything. Some parents believe that a child can choose who they want to live with. There are lots of articles on the internet about this, and a good number suggest that at a certain age e.g. Site by RED. But, this does not mean that a child… This can create further conflict, hard feelings and strain on the relationships. 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. A child need not be at this magic number, but generally it is a good number. 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. The common perception is there exists some magic age where a child can definitively decide whether to live with mom or dad in a custody or divorce case. CONTACT THE LANCASTER LAW FIRM TO SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION. Another child might be 14 and choose dad but the court has seen proof that the dad works all day and goes to the bar every night, not getting home until midnight, leaving the child unsupervised. As a family law lawyer, I am frequently asked this question. If the Child is Over the Age of 14. I have seen children as young as seven (7) make viable witnesses in custody and change of custody cases. It's ultimately up to the judge to issue a custody order that reflects the best interests of the child. 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. Your family law attorney will be able to work with you and your child if they are between these ages. 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. There is no magical age in which a child can choose which parent to live with. At the age of 14 , the child is typically expected to give a statement, as well. The court will consider the preference in making a custody determination but is not bound by the preference. The mere age of your child will not determine your family law matter. When a child turns age 18 and becomes an adult they can choose to live wherever they want, but before then a judge can dictate where that child must live. 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. When a Minor Child Can Choose Where to Live. 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. At what age can a child decide where she wants to live. 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. A child need not be at this magic number, but generally it is a good number. 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. 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. The child's reasons for wanting to live with one parent over the other can affect the weight the court gives the child… Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Where parents are making the decision about where a child is to live they are able to choose whether the parent or the child … 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. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. There is no specific age when Alabama courts must consider a child's opinion. For starters, any child age 17 or older can choose the parent he/she prefers to live with. When your child is over 14, it is more … However, a child does not need to be over 16 to have an influence on where they would like to live. 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. And want what is in the best interest of the child ’ s idea good. Of factors ( e.g rare for a child can decide where they would like to live with you your... 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