Can I get child custody of my 10 year old? 16 Answers as of May 16, 2011

Can I get custody of my 10 yr old daughter without a lawyer? How old does she have to be to choose where she wants to live(ME or MOTHER)?

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Michael Rose Attorney at Law
Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
Are you married to the mother? Do you have a relationship with the child? Do you live near the child? Is the school near where you live? Does mother live near you? What did the mother do to take custody away from her? Have you ever had custody of the child? You will have to know the law to proceed without an attorney. The child is too young to decide where to live. Some courts will consider the child wishes when they are 14, 15, or 16. Each judge thinks differently. Parents do not let children make important decision.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/16/2011
Berner Law Group, PLLC
Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
If you live in Western Washington, please feel free to call my office to set up a free, no obligation consultation-in person or by phone-with an experienced custody attorney about your case. Custody typically turns on which parent has objectively served as the primary parent for the last 12 months, which parent has a stronger bond with the child, what situation will best promote the child's emotional stability, which parent has less "problems"/dysfunction. I highly recommend you secure this assistance of an attorney and not attempt it on your own as custody cases are literally a minefield for pro se litigants.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/11/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
I would not attempt to navigate the system without an attorney. The older the child, the more persuasive the child's opinion with the court. There is no minimum age. Having said that, we once got custody for the father where the 14 year old daughter wanted to stay with the mom. It was in the child's interest to be with the father, and she is doing great now. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/11/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Under the law, child custody decisions are made by a Court based on what a Judge believes is in the child's best interests. There are enumerated factors under the State Statute that the Judge must consider in rendering a decisions. However, a Judge is not limited to those factors and may consider any facts or evidence that is deemed relevant to its determination. Custody cases are rarely simple. You should consult with legal counsel.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/10/2011
Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
I would highly recommend you hiring an attorney to protect your rights. Usually the court will weigh more heavily on the testimony of a minor at the age of 14 and older.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 5/10/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, and assuming you are discussing a divorce, the Court will establish a parenting plan. The child can't choose where he/she will live, although the child's preference can be conveyed to the Court through a Guardian ad Litem.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    A child never gets to choose where they live until they are an adult at age 18. A court can consider the wishes of an appropriately mature child. How you get the wishes of the child to the court is difficult.Often a court will not talk directly with a child. A guardian ad litem can interview the child but that is risky and expensive. You can't say, "Johnny says he wants to live with me" as that is hear say. You can get appropriate contact with your child with a parenting plan. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    File the paperwork with the court and take your chances. An attorney is cheap compared to custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    To ask for custody of your 10 year old daughter to be changed to you, you would need to make a written request to the Court (called a motion), and show the Judge why the girl would be better off with you than with her mother. As to how old she has to be to choose where to live, the Judge will usually give more importance to her choice the older she gets. do you need a lawyer? No, you can try to do this on your own. However, a lawyer can help you organize and present your case. The lawyer's help can easily be the difference between winning and losing. let me know if you want me to assist.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    In Colorado, a child becomes an adult at 18 and can decide where he/she wants to live. Until then, parents and/or judges decide and the child obeys. Judges will listen to a child's wishes in custody disputes, but the ultimate decision is what is best for the child - not what the child wants. Whether or not you can obtain custody over the mother's objection (which in Colorado only means where the child resides the majority of the time) depends on all the facts and circumstances, including what you have done as a father during the past 10 years.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Law Office of John C. Volz
    Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
    Generally a child does not get to choose where she lives. You can seek a custody evaluation or have an attorney appointed for the child and they may consider the input of the child.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Rice & Co., LPA
    Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
    You can usually get custody of a child when the other parent agrees to transfer custody. Even then, a lawyer can usually make the process considerably more thorough and more efficient than you can on your own. Theoretically, you could win a contested case on your own, but a lawyer experienced in such cases will provide you with a considerable advantage. In Ohio, there is no set age where a child can choose where he or she wants to live. The older the child, the more weight their opinion will ordinarily be given, but in my experience, all other things being equal, the preference of a ten-year-old is often given little weight.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    The child's preference is only one of many factors a court will look at. Of course if there is an agreement there is no need for any type of hearing. Either way you must return to court on a modification.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    In the state of Washington the child can decide where they want to live once they reach 18. If you have a parenting plan already, you would need to bring a petition to modify the parenting plan. Unless she is already living with you, you would probably have to show that the current environment living with the other parent is detrimental to the child.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/10/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    Children don't get to "choose" which parent they get to live with. That would be giving too much power to them. A Judge can consider the preference of a child of sufficient age and maturity in making a custody order, but other factors (that experienced Family Law Attorneys would be familiar with)will likely be important to the Judge in making a child custody determination. If you are seeking custody of your daughter, you would be best served by retaining an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/9/2011
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