Can a 13 year old choose which parent he wants to live with? 21 Answers as of March 11, 2013

The parents have been divorced for 5 years. Can a 13 year old child choose which parent he wants to live with?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Carey and Leisure | John Smitten
No.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/11/2013
Alison Elle Aleman, Attorney & Counselor at Law
Alison Elle Aleman, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Alison Elle Aleman
The court will often listen to what kids have to say about who they want to live with, but they don't always get the final word. The court will be the final judge about which parent (or both parents) are the best for the child to live with.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/11/2013
John H. Sibbison III, Professional Law Corporation | John Sibbison
Depends on the judge. In California, subject to the discretion of the judge, a child of 14 has the right to express their wishes.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/11/2013
John Russo | John Russo
Choose is to strong a term, but the court starts to listen to their wishes when they get to be about that age, but other factors still come into play as well, but with both parents being equal no issues the court will put more weight on the request.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 3/8/2013
Reade & Associates
Reade & Associates | R. Christopher Reade
The wishes and input of a 13 year old child may be considered by, but will not control, the Court's parenting plan decision.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/8/2013
    Ankerholz and Smith
    Ankerholz and Smith | Rian F. Ankerholz
    In Kansas, a child under 18 cannot make that decision. That makes sense, because it is a legal decision regarding custody, and a minor cannot make a legal decision. Nonetheless, more mature minors can have a voice in their living arrangement if it is handled properly. Normally, that means having a Guardian ad Litem appointed for the child, or having a child custody evaluator speak to the child. Some judges will talk to the child in chambers, although that is becoming more rare.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    No, the decision of what is in the best interests of the child as to where the child lives remains with the court. However, teenagers are given a say and the court will take their wishes into consideration.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    The Law Offices of Tres A. Porter | Tres A. Porter
    There is no set hard and fast rule on this issue. Generally speaking, at this age, the child's wishes are given some consideration by the Court, but it depends a lot on the child and the child's reasoning for the choice. You should consult with a family law attorney in your area as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    The court may take the child's wishes in consideration, but if the child wants to live with Dad who is an alcoholic, the court will probably not allow it.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    Attorney at Law | Aimee C. Robbins
    His preference may be a factor but ultimately the decision is based on "the best interests of the minor child" standard and "fitness of the parent"
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    In Arizona, a minor child does not get to choose which parent to live with; however, the wishes of a child of "suitable age and maturity" can be considered by the court, along with many other factors, in determining the child's best interests.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    Among the factors involved in awarding custody is the child's preference, if any, for living with one parent or the other. The younger the child is, the less weight the courts tend to accord the choice. At 13 the courts would tend to give the choice more weight but not necessarily allow the child's choice to be the controlling factor.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    The court must decide if the child's wishes will be considered. The child's desire is not automatically granted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    Law Offices of Steven A. Hemmat
    Law Offices of Steven A. Hemmat | Steven A. Hemmat
    Generally not. There needs to be a substantial change of circumstances to modify a parenting plan as well as other requirements. A 13 desiring to change residences may not, in itself, be sufficient. You should speak with an attorney to discuss your specific facts.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    Auman Law Firm
    Auman Law Firm | Cody T. Mitchell
    There is no age requirement on how old a child has to be to tell a family court judge who they want to live with. Though a judge would most likely speak to a child this age in private. With that said, a family judge is under no requirement to talk to the minor child and thus follow what the minor child wants.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    David M. Kaufman | David M. Kaufman
    The child's preference is only one of about 12 factors the court takes into consideration in deciding a custody issue. It can be the most significant factor but that depends on all of the facts and circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    LAW OFFICE OF ANNE B. HOWARD | Anne B. Howard
    He cannot chose. At 14 his wishes are to be considered but it is up to the judge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
    The court may put some weight into what the child wants.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    Marion E. Ellington, Jr. Attorney at Law, PC
    Marion E. Ellington, Jr. Attorney at Law, PC | Marion E. Ellington, Jr.
    In Georgia the age of election is 14. However, if the custodial parent objects to the change in custody on the basis that the non custodial parent is not the proper party to have custody, then the court will have to decide what is in the child's best interest, to determine if a change will occur or not.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    This depends on the law of the State you live in. Before you do anything, talk to a divorce lawyer. And do that soon.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/8/2013
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    Not formally. But parents would be foolish not to listen to the child, the court will.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/8/2013
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney