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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102505
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I am in Fort Worth texas, Tarrant county court. What does

Customer Question

i am in Fort Worth texas, Tarrant county court. What does the law state when a motion to confer with a child age 12 is filed? Does the judge have to confer with the child?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Texas
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No we where just told that when our son turned 12 he could talk to the judge about wanting more visitation with us.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Just trying to clarify before we spend money if this is accurate that a judge has to confer with a child at 12 if a motion is filed or if it's the judges discretion. Have read a lot of different things an I know we are in a tough county
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Texas Family Code Sec. 153.134(6) [the court will take into consideration] if the child is 12 years of age or older, the child's preference, if any, regarding the person to have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child.

NOTE that the child's preference is not controlling. It is one of other subjective factors the Court will consider. The older the child, the more weight the child's preference shall carry in the Court's decision.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok so my question is if I file a motion to confer with the judge for my son age 12, is it up to the judges discretion wether they will confer with him or can the judge say no I'm not going to confer with the child? I get they don't have to choose with the child ands its also best interest, but if a motion is filed does that mean the judge has to confer?
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

There is no such motion required, or normally required. Upon the filing for custody (initial or modification), the Court can confer with the child in chambers (in the Judge's office) sua sponte (at the court's own motion), meaning the Judge will say "Does the child have a preference, how old are they, okay let me speak with them."

OR, either party can file a motion to have the Judge confer with the child, but often, this is done (as above) anyhow.

The Judge will confer with the child, because this is the only way that they can get the child's preference. I have never seen a Judge DENY conferring the child's preference. So while some argument can be made up why they do not have to, I doubt that the Judge will not.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!