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Ask LawTalk Your Own Question
LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37639
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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What age does a child in California can choose where to

Customer Question

what age does a child in California can choose where to live? with mother or father? is their feelings or thoughts taken by the court into consideration? what is the process??
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in?
Customer: California
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no my ex husband keeps pressuring my 11 year son to have the every other week at different parents home because he remarried and states new wife can now pick him up and drop off
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no I just wanted to know what are my options in case I'm served papers
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 10 months ago.

Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

While there is no age at which a minor in CA may demand to live with one parent as opposed to the other, under CA law the court will give consideration to the minor child's preference as to which parent they want to reside with.

CA Family Code Section 3042 states in pertinent part:

3042. (a) If a child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation,the court shall consider, and give due weight to, the wishes of the child in making an order granting or modifying custody or visitation.

(b) In addition to the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section 765 of the Evidence Code, the court shall control the examination of a child witness so as to protect the best interests of the child.

(c) If the child is 14 years of age or older and wishes to address the court regarding custody or visitation, the child shall be permitted to do so, unless the court determines that doing so is not in the child's best interests. In that case, the court shall state its reasons for that finding on the record.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to prevent a child who is less than 14 years of age from addressing the court regarding custody or visitation, if the court determines that is appropriate pursuant to the child's best interests.

So while the general rule is that children over the age of 14 may express their preference in the event of a custody case, the judge does have the discretion to consider the wishes of a child under the age of 14 as well.

Often the judge will speak with the child in chambers without the parents being present. Given your child's age, it seems unlikely that your ex will be able to persuade the court to consider your son's wishes---even presuming that he is able to brainwash your son.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. As I am not an employee of JustAnswer, please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am compensated for assisting you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,


Expert:  LawTalk replied 10 months ago.

I sense that your questions and issues might be better served by an in-depth conversation with me. If you are interested, for a very nominal charge I can offer you a private phone conference.

Please know that I answered your question in good faith, providing you with the information that you asked for, and I did that with the expectation that you would act likewise and rate my service to you. If I have already provided you with the information you asked for and you have no additional questions, would you please now rate my service to you so I can be compensated for assisting you?

Thanks in advance,


Expert:  LawTalk replied 10 months ago.


Is there anything else I can assist you with today?


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for the response. I also wanted to know regarding child support . In California , Our original order was done 2010 he pays 127.50 on the 1st and 15th . He suppose to pay have of school expenses etc . He picks a chooses what to pay back. He wont pay any medical co pays unless he approves the dr visit first. My son is 11 yrs. he has afterschool care. Father is ordered to pay half of all expenses but is been difficult to collect. Our son attends a charter school No tuition but they wear uniforms he wont help pay for half he will only pay for one shirt and shorts. Every thing else is on me out of pocket. Our order states all medical , school and child care to be split and its not happening.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 10 months ago.

Good morning,

The reason I offered you the phone call was to allow you to ask unlimited questions of me. As you may not be aware, the Rules of JustAnswer specify that each customer ask one question in each question thread. These are new questions (child support/medical/school expenses) that you are asking. For new questions, the customer is asked to open a new question thread. I do sincerely ***** ***** any inconvenience this might cause you.

I would be happy to call you and answer all of your questions. Alternatively, I would ask that you rate my service on this question and open a new question for the child support issues. You are free to ask for me by name in a new question and I will be able to assist you.


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