I am sorry, your previous expert has opted out. In IL, there is no set age where the court will consider the wishes of the child in these custody/visitation matters. HOWEVER, the court WILL consider the wishes of the child in these matters when the court finds the child is mature enough mentally, educationally and emotionally to understand the consequences of the decision they are expressing to the court and when the court finds that the wishes the child is expressing are free from coercion
of the parents and are indeed their own wishes. If the court finds the child is sufficiently mature enough, which typically is anywhere between 12-14, depending on the child, then the court MAY consider the wishes of the child, but the law says that those wishes ARE NOT to be the sole determining factor the court uses to determine what is in the best interests of the child and the wishes of the child would only be one of the multiple factors the court considers to determine what is best for the child.
All of the factors you mentioned above, including moving in with a young former student and abandoning the family and refusing to pay any of the child's needs would all be used against him when determining what is the best interests of the child by the court.
Thus, if you present evidence of all of this through your attorney to the court, in most cases like this the court will generally abide by the child's wishes and would likely not force the child to see their father.
I hope you found my answer helpful, but please understand that if you did not get all of the information you may have wanted PLEASE USE THE REPLY TO EXPERT LINK IF YOU HAVE FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS AND NOT THE FEEDBACK BUTTON FOR BAD SERVICE. PLEASE CLICK ON “OK,” “GOOD” or “EXCELLENT” SERVICE. Kindly remember to ONLY rate my answer when you are fully satisfied. If you feel the need to rate anything less than OK, please stop and reply to me via the or REPLY TO EXPERT button with whatever issue or clarification you may need.
I truly aim to please you as a customer, but please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.
Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.
PLEASE NOTE WELL, LEGAL ANSWERS TAKE MORE THAN “MINUTES” TO PUT TOGETHER AS WE ARE DEALING WITH LAWS OF 50 STATES PLUS FEDERAL LAWS, AS WELL AS DEALING WITH OTHER CUSTOMERS, SO PLEASE BE PATIENT IT WILL BE MORE THAN “MINUTES” IN SOME CASES BEFORE YOU GET A RESPONSE, BUT BE ASSURED YOU ARE NOT BEING IGNORED.
There can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break.
You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-paulmjd/ or beginning your question with “For PaulMJD…”