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The child cannot choose on his or her own to be with a certain parent.
However, a parent can request a change of custody based on a change of custody (which includes parental inability, which includes a parent becoming homeless).
You must motion the court first, though. You cannot decide this on your own, until the court orders that you may have full custody.
You do have good cause to get full custody though - if you motion the court.
Does that make sense?
Isn't age 12 or 14 an age in Montana when a child can decide which parent they want
to live with?
There is a common misconception that there is some magical age in Montana by which a child can decide which parent to live with.
It is based on the best interests of the child, which the child cannot him or herself decide until he or she reaches the age of majority.
This is a breakdown of the relevant laws: http://www.helpyourselfdivorce.com/montana-divorce-information/montana-child-custody-laws/
No child under 18 can unilaterally decide which parent to live with.