In most states, courts may consider a child’s opinion, but only if the judge believes that the child is mature enough to express a reasonable preference. In addition to a child’s opinion, the court must also consider a variety of other factors before deciding where the child will live after a divorce or separation.
At what age can a child choose which parent to live with after divorce?
If a child is at least 14, the law allows the child to state a custodial preference, unless the judge believes doing so would be detrimental.
When can a child choose where they want to live?
Once your child turns 18 and is a legal adult, then a custody order does not apply and they can decide where to live. The closer your child gets to age 18, the more he or she has a say. Can a child who is 12 years old or older decide which parent will have primary custody?
How old does a child have to be to choose who they want to live with in Alabama?
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 19-9-3, (5)-(6), in all custody cases in which the child has reached the age of 14 years, the child shall have the right to select the parent with whom he or she desires to live.
At what age will a judge listen to a child?
If children are old enough—usually, older than 12 or so—a judge may talk to them to find out their preferences about custody and visitation. Some states require courts to consider kids’ views, but others disapprove of bringing the kids into it at all.
Can a 10 year old decide which parent to live with?
In law, there is no fixed age that determines when a child can express a preference as to where they want to live. However, legally, a child cannot decide who they want to live with until they are 16 years old. Once a child reaches the age of 16, they are legally allowed to choose which parent to live with.
Can a child refuse to see a parent?
Overview of Custody and Visitation
Your custody order will designate which parent(s) has legal and physical custody. … Both parents are bound by the terms of a custody order. If your child refuses to go to visits with the other parent, you could still be on the hook for failing to comply with a custody order.
Can a 14 year old choose where they want to live?
There is no fixed age when a child can decide on where they should live in a parenting dispute. Instead their wishes are one of many factors a court will consider in reaching a decision. … That time is not attached to any specific age, but is rather the product of maturity and a level of independence.
How can a mother lose custody to the father?
Child abuse or sexual abuse is the number one reason that a mother can lose custody of her child. Sometimes this comes in the form of “corporal punishment” such as spanking or other physical acts of punishing a child – there is a fine line between discipline and physical abuse.
What if your child doesn’t want to live with you?
Talk with a Legal Representative
In addition, your child may be able to tell the court that he/she doesn’t want to live with you, but that doesn’t mean the court will rule in his/her favor. Instead, your child’s wishes will simply be recorded, but no change will be done in a legal setting.
What do judges look for in child custody cases?
Judges must decide custody based on “the best interests of the child.” The “best interests of the child” law requires courts to focus on the child’s needs and not the parent’s needs. The law requires courts to give custody to the parent who can meet the child’s needs best .
Can a 13 year old decide who they want to live with?
A child does not get to dictate who they live with or the terms of visitation until they are of the age of majority. Their wishes are a factor that a court will consider, and the older they are the more likely a court will consider the wishes.
What happens if a child doesn’t want to visit the other parent?
A parent who refuses to allow the other parent to see the child or fails to follow the terms of a custody order could face contempt charges. The parent missing out on visitation can file an Order to Show Cause with the court stating that the other parent is preventing visits.
How do I prove I am a better parent in court?
Prove You’re the Better Parent
- The physical well-being of the child: For example, focus on your child’s routine, sleeping habits, eating schedule, and after-school activities. …
- The psychological well-being of the child: For example, making sure that the child has access to liberal visitation with the other parent.
Can a child refuse to live with custodial parent?
Notwithstanding a child’s stated preference for the custodial relationship, the family judge presiding has nearly unfettered discretion as to whether the judge wants to take the child’s preference into consideration and, if so, how to weight the child’s preference in the decision-making process.