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Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2677
Experience:  associate attorney
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My sister is 15 and her mom took her from texas to montana

Customer Question

My sister is 15 and her mom took her from texas to montana now they said she cant say she wants to live with her dad
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No i talked to cps and the police In texas age 12 and up they can claim the guardian but whats the age in montana crap if 15 isnt old enough she could leave in 2 years
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: She violated a court agreement of no more than 5 countys of tarrant county now she is in kellipsol montana
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in?
Customer: She is in montana im her brother in texas
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today. Thank you for your question and for using justanswer.com. Give me a bit and I will draft you an answer.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Unfortunately, a child cannot choose which parent that has custody of them in any state in the United States. So in neither Texas or Montana can the child simply pick up and leave and live with another parent without a court order. There are ages where the court begins to take into account the wishes of the child, but this is not the sole test. The court will award custody to whomever the courts feels is in the best interests of the child. The child's wishes are a factor again but not the sole factor.

Again, a court may, but doesn’t have to, consider a child’s preference when making a custody decision. There’s no magic age in Montana at which a child’s preferences will alter a custody decision. Instead, a judge will look at the unique circumstances of each case. A mature child’s parental preference will be weighted in relation to his or her age and ability to reason independently. For instance, in one Montana case a 5 and 8 year-old’s preferences were not considered at all because the judge thought the children were too young. The judge didn’t interview either child because he felt that the children couldn’t express any independent, reasoned preference on custody due to their age. In Montana, a child’s age strongly affects how much weight is given to his or her parental preference. However, in another case the Montana court decided that two girls, ages 11 and 13, were both of a sufficient age to formulate intelligent and reasoned opinions on custody. In this case, the court took the children’s preferences very seriously and followed the girls’ request to be placed in the custody of their father. So to answer your question, she cannot choose to live with her father if she is a minor but as for custody, the courts will take into account a child's preference at any age if the court thinks the child can properly reason and articulate their opinion.

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Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Just checking back in, do you have any further questions?