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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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In Alabama at what age can a child choose which parent they

Customer Question

In Alabama at what age can a child choose which parent they want to live with
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your question; I am currently reviewing the statute.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

I have reviewed the statute and there is no set age - only a few states specify a certain age,the reason being each child matures at a different pace.

The court will look to the "best interests of the child" which include:

The age and physical and mental condition of the child, giving due consideration to the child’s changing developmental needs;
The age and physical and mental condition of each parent;
The relationship existing between each parent and each child, giving due consideration to the positive involvement with the child’s life and the ability to accurately assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child;
The needs of the child, giving due consideration to other important relationships of the child, including but not limited to siblings, peers, and extended family members;
The role that each parent has played and will play in the future in the upbringing and care of the child;
The propensity of each parent to actively support the child’s contact and relationship with the other parent, including whether a parent has unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child;
The relative willingness and demonstrated ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to cooperate in and resolve disputes regarding matters affecting the child;
The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age, and experience to express such a preference;
Any history of family abuse or sexual abuse. If the court finds such a history, the court may disregard the factors in subdivision 6; and
Such other factors as the court deems necessary and proper to the determination.

The court may consider the child's wishes, and is more likely to do so if the child's reasoning seems well thought out, and based on rational logic. The court will want to know the reason for the preference, and if it is valid, then that will be a great consideration. If the child wants to live with a certain parent because that parent doesn't have a curfew and doesn't make the child do homework, for example, the court will disregard the child's preference.

Typically the courts give more weight to the child's preference in the teen years, 12 and up.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

checking in on the above;

thank you for using Just Answer!