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dkennedy, Attorney at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 6009
Experience:  JD Degree, Social Service Experience, Child Support Officer
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at what age can a child legally decide to stop seeing a ...

Resolved Question:

at what age can a child legally decide to stop seeing a parent and what would they have to do to make it legal. Who could help me if I have no money to fight the battle for my daughter
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  dkennedy replied 9 years ago.


I would like to answer your question. What state are you in?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Illinois and my daughter is 13.
Expert:  dkennedy replied 9 years ago.


There is no specific age, but in Illinois the court will listen to what the child has to say about where she wants to live.

The expressed wishes of the child are not controlling. The custody preferences of mature children are given considerable weight when they are based on sound reasoning, especially where the reasons relate to the child's best interests, such as a desire to remain with friends, to continue attending the same school and to remain in the same environment. The statute does not require the child to give a good reason for his or her preference, nor is the trial court required to ask a child specifically about custodial preference where the court is in a position to evaluate the credibility, temperaments, personalities, and capabilities of both parents and infer the child's preference from the totality of the child's statements, or from other sources, such as the guardian ad litem. It is recognized that a child's preference may not always accord with his or her best interests, and the court is bound to use its own wisdom and common sense in making a custody award.

I hope I have answered your question. If so, click Accept so that I can get credit for my work. Thanks.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
No,that is not the question. They already have joint custody, the daughter wants to stop having to go with him on his weekends,does she have any rights? She was talking about excommunicating (??) herself from him.
Expert:  dkennedy replied 9 years ago.

Hello again,

There is no law that states a certain age at which a child can stop visiting the other parent. I gave you an example of the law's view in Illinois on custody, and the same type of criteria would apply when talking about visitation. Reality would say that once a child becomes a teenager, her wishes must at least be considered. I would suggest talking to a counselor with her and then ask the counselor to write up a recommendation about her wishes. Perhaps the other parent would listen to that.

You could try to get some help from Legal Aid. There are also volunteer lawyer groups that they can steer to towards. One of them may be able to help you.

I wish you the best.


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