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FamilyAttorney, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1377
Experience:  Owner, attorney in private practice, appellate attorney, GAL & former trial lawyer, licensed for 37 years
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How old does a child have the right to choose who they live

Customer Question

How old does a child have the right to choose who they live with
JA: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?
Customer: Texas Montgomery county
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Child is being abused by step father girl 13 yrs old
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 8 months ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer. I’m a licensed attorney with 36 years’ experience in family law, appeals, landlord-tenant, and other types of law.

This is general information and not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed, and no attorney-client relationship is formed. This is for educational purposes only.

Also, I’d like to review your question for a minute, type your answer and then I’ll be right back. I promise I haven’t disappeared but am working on your answer.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 8 months ago.

The new Texas law (§153.009) allows a party (a parent) to request the judge to talk with the child. If the child is over 12 years old, the judge has to meet with the child. If the child is under 12, then the judge may meet with the child but is not required to do so. The new law allows the child to have a say so on visitation with a parent as well, if the judge wishes to hear this evidence, not just which parent chooses where they live.

As stated earlier though, this interview is just evidence the court can use to make a decision. The court is not required to follow the child's wishes.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 8 months ago.

My concern here is if the child is being abused, if there is enough information to call child protective, then maybe you want to consider doing that. The girl shouldn't take anymore abuse. You may also want to discuss this with a local attorney and get this into court immediately.

Does the order allow her to stay with both parents or does someone have sole custody/conservatorship?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 8 months ago.

Regardless of who has custody, she's spending time with her stepfather. If he's abusing her, she must get out of there!

If you would like me to find lawyers for you, I can find family lawyers. Just let me know and I can look in your country. I hope the girl is going to be okay but it sounds like she needs to get out of there fast!

Let me know if I can help you find a lawyer or with anything else. I'm happy to do so.

Please accept my answer, rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars (5, 4 or 3 stars) and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you and with your question. I work hard to give you a thorough and honest answer. Please let me know if there is more that I can do to answer your question and if you need more information such as where to find a lawyer. If not, I thank you for your rating. I can’t get credit for answering your question without your fair and honest rating.

Feel free to come back here for a follow-up question based on this one.
You're welcome to ask follow-up questions at any time, any day after I'm rated.

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Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 8 months ago.

It's not so important who has custody -- it's the fact that she's spending ANY time with her stepfather. That should be stopped asap. Is that something that you can do? Also, can you call Child Protective or do you want to have a lawyer in place first before you do that?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 8 months ago.

I'm like a GAL in your state -- I'm called an Attorney for the Child. All of my clients are kids. I hate to hear about any child who is abused, neglected, or mistreated in any way. I hope she will be okay! If this is your daughter or granddaughter, you're doing the right thing by trying to help her. Thank you for that!

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 8 months ago.

Hi, just checking in to see if you still need help with your question and if my answer was helpful for you or if there is any more information that you need. Thanks!


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