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TNV, Lawyer
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 1216
Experience:  Law degree with Honours, Diploma in Legal Practice
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At what age is a child legally allowed to choose which parent

Resolved Question:

At what age is a child legally allowed to choose which parent they want to live with?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  TNV replied 7 years ago.

Under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 s5 the views of the children regarding a "major" decision like this can be taken into account and if the child is 12 years old or older then that child would be regarded as able to choose.


But the Act does state that it depends on the "age and maturity" of that child.


In case law, 12 years old has been held as old enough.


Hope this helps.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
So does that mean that a court would not take into account an 8 year old childs views? My daughter has always been closer to me and my wife has a history of depression and suicide attempts and ideation.
Expert:  TNV replied 7 years ago.

You are right. Age 8 is normally regarded as a bit young in the eyes of the court. But as stated it depends on the age and "maturity" of the child in question.


There is also the issue of the "best interests of the child" to consider. If your child can articulate and discuss her situation with a Sheriff, then you may manage to convince the Sheriff that she would be better off with you.


All these cases depend on the facts and individuals involved, so if you feel that your child is determined then it is worth your while to apply.


Hope this helps.

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