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Category: Family Law
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Experience:  10 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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At what age can children legally decide what parent they can

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At what age can children legally decide what parent they can live with, and what if both parents done agree?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. The first concern of the court will always be the best interest of the child. Normally, a child does not have the right to chose where they will live until they are 18 years of age. If the parents ask the court to decide where the child will live ( assuming that can not agree like in your case), the judge may consider the child’s wishes as one factor in making his/her order. If a judge learns that a child would rather live with one parent than the other, the judge might consider:

What is the reason the child wants to live with that parent?
What is the level of stability and reliability of the parent the child wants to live with?
What is the level of the child’s social maturity and emotional and intellectual development?
Has the child been pressured or manipulated into stating a preference?

Whether or not a judge will consider a child’s wishes is decided on a case-by-case basis and the Judge always has the final say, which will be decided based upon the evidence presented by the parents.

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