In Washington State, at what age can a child decide which parent to live with without going through court?
i had custody of my son for 14 years, i live in michigan and at age 14 let him live with his father in washington for 1 year to get to know his father, then he was to return. during the year his father filed for Temporary Custody and was granted until a hearing, but his lawyer has not set hearing date and my 15 year old son wants to come home to michigan and his father is not letting him
DearCustomer- You must go through the court regardless of age since the child custody is an order of the court. The court will generally listen to the wishes of the child however the court makes the final determination based on the best interests of the child. The older the child the more weight their testimony has but the court reserves the right to make the final decision.
If the child is 12 or older the testimony of the child will generally be accepted but there are no guarantees and certainly no change of custody without going to court.
David Kennett - JD - Attorney at Law
25 years experience as practicing attorney
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