Can a 13 year old choose which parent he wants to live with? - Divorce Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Can a 13 year old choose which parent he wants to live with?

The parents have been divorced for 5 years. Can a 13 year old child choose which parent he wants to live with?

Answer By John Smitten

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No.

Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/10/2013

Alison Elle Aleman, Attorney & Counselor at Law
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The court will often listen to what kids have to say about who they want to live with, but they don't always get the final word. The court will be the final judge about which parent (or both parents) are the best for the child to live with.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/10/2013

Answer By John Sibbison

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Depends on the judge. In California, subject to the discretion of the judge, a child of 14 has the right to express their wishes.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/9/2013

Answer By John Russo

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Choose is to strong a term, but the court starts to listen to their wishes when they get to be about that age, but other factors still come into play as well, but with both parents being equal no issues the court will put more weight on the request.

Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 3/8/2013

Reade & Associates
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The wishes and input of a 13 year old child may be considered by, but will not control, the Court's parenting plan decision.

Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/8/2013

Ankerholz and Smith
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In Kansas, a child under 18 cannot make that decision. That makes sense, because it is a legal decision regarding custody, and a minor cannot make a legal decision. Nonetheless, more mature minors can have a voice in their living arrangement if it is handled properly. Normally, that means having a Guardian ad Litem appointed for the child, or having a child custody evaluator speak to the child. Some judges will talk to the child in chambers, although that is becoming more rare.

Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 3/8/2013

Answer By Frances Headley

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No, the decision of what is in the best interests of the child as to where the child lives remains with the court. However, teenagers are given a say and the court will take their wishes into consideration.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/8/2013

Answer By Tres A. Porter

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There is no set hard and fast rule on this issue. Generally speaking, at this age, the child's wishes are given some consideration by the Court, but it depends a lot on the child and the child's reasoning for the choice. You should consult with a family law attorney in your area as soon as possible.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/8/2013

Peters Law, PLLC
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The court may take the child's wishes in consideration, but if the child wants to live with Dad who is an alcoholic, the court will probably not allow it.

Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 3/8/2013


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His preference may be a factor but ultimately the decision is based on "the best interests of the minor child" standard and "fitness of the parent"

Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 3/8/2013

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