In many states, including Washington, courts in custody cases may consider the wishes of a child in terms of which parent he would prefer to live with after the divorce is granted. However, according to the American Bar Association, only two states, Georgia and West Virginia, give a child who is 14 or older the absolute right to decide which parent he's going to live with.
In every other state, the judge decides where a child will live according to the "best interests of the child" standard. In short, a child in Washington state can express his preference to the court, but a judge decides where he will reside by designating one parent as the "primary residential parent. As the Child Welfare Information Gateway website explains, courts in Washington and every other state focus on the "best interests of the child" when making custody decisions. However, "the best interests of the child" is not specifically defined.
Instead, the court considers a number of factors related to the family situation, "with the child's ultimate safety and well-being as the paramount concern. Title 26 of the Revised Code of Washington, Section The statutory goal is to encourage each parent "to maintain a loving, stable, and nurturing relationship with the child. The most important factor is the nature of the child's relationship with each parent.
Another factor is "the wishes of a child who is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to his or her residential schedule. An older child is more likely than a younger child to give a "reasoned" explanation to the court concerning where he wants to live. According to the American Bar Association, some judges won't listen to a child under the age of seven, assuming the child is too young to have an informed opinion.
If an older child expresses a strong desire to live with one parent as opposed to the other, the court often will honor his preference.
However, if a teenager wants to live with a parent who allows him total freedom, the court is unlikely to go along. Judges usually talk to a child in chambers rather than in open court. Sometimes the court enlists a child psychologist or social worker to aid the judge in his custody decision. Washington state requires parents to file a parenting plan to help the court determine custody and visitation issues.
Washington used to subscribe to the "tender years doctrine," which presumed that younger children, in particular, were better off with their mother. However, that doctrine is a relic of the past and a court is neutral in determining who should be the primary residential parent. Although parents are cautioned not to involve their children in the actual formulation of a parenting plan, if the parents and children are in accord about post-divorce living arrangements, it's likely the court will approve it.
Jim Thomas has been a freelance writer since He wrote a book about professional golfers and has written magazine articles about sports, politics, legal issues, travel and business for national and Northwest publications. By: Jim Thomas. About the Author. Photo Credits.Your child gets to pick the parent they live with in Michigan when they reach the age of Think about it and it will make sense. Your child is not allowed to pick the school they go to, what doctor they see, or what they have for dinner but now they get to pick who has custody?
That would cause chaos. As soon as Mom took away their ipod or grounded them, the kid would snap their fingers and declare that Dad now has custody. In determining child custody in Michigan, the court must consider twelve best interest factors. It is really up to the judge. Typically when it is appropriate to listen to a child, the judge will meet with the child in chambers for a private meeting.
This is sometimes called an in camera interview. On other occasions, the judge may have the Friend of the Court do the interview. Every judge has their own procedures. Every once in a while, a parent brings a kid to court because they feel they should have a voice in the matter. Do not do it. It makes the parent look irresponsible and manipulative.
Ready to talk? Contact us and set up an appointment. Hello- My brother has a PPO against him by his wife. It is all lies. Ever, for any reason. My brother wants to fight it and have it dropped, amended or whatever. I feel that a judge needs to be objective and judge each case on its own.Why don't fictional characters say "goodbye" when they hang up a phone? All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.
Hottest Questions. Previously Viewed. Unanswered Questions. Children and the Law. Emancipation and Ages for Moving Out. Can a year-old choose to live with his non custodial parent in Iowa?
Wiki User Once you are 14 years of age you can choose if you want to live with your mother or your father. In cases of parental custodianship the court usually does not intervene when a minor moves from the custodial parent's home to the non custodial parent's home until unless the custodial parent files a request to have the minor returned to the primary residence.
The matter can become very involved especially if there is a child support order in place pertaining to the non custodial parent. If this is the case said parent cannot cease paying child support without the risk of being in contempt of a court order and thereby incurring futher legal difficulties. Square footage is not addressed in the laws.
Asked in Custody, Children and the Law How long can a parent go without seeing a child before its considered abandonment in the state of Iowa? If you are referring to the non-custodial parent there would be no issue of abandonment. See related question for more information. If your parents both have custodial rights, then you have to have the consent of both in order to move out before reaching the age of majority Asked in Iowa What is the state vegetable of Iowa?
Iowa doesn't have one. But I'd choose corn if it was up to me. No, not unless the custodial parent gives permission,and makes the proper arrangements concerning the care of the minor child. If the parent s oppose the move, the relative wishing to take custody of the minor may petition for guardianship rights in the appropriate state court. No, a minor can not sue their own parent in the state of Iowa. A child can file for emancipation from a parent in the state. Minors are not allowed to decide with whom they wish to live.
A judge usually takes into consideration a child's opinion if the child is mature enough to understand the issues involved but the judge is under no obligation to follow the child's choice. Custodial decisions are always based upon what is in the best interest of the child and not the preference of any involved party. Either parent can file a petition to have the current custodial arrangement rescinded or amended but they must have a compelling reason for the court to make a change.
She lives in Iowa. And is very unhappy with a complicated situation involving possible mental abuse and neglect.? Please seek professional help with this. How worker-friendly are Iowa labor laws? Iowa labor laws permit people that are sixteen and older to get jobs if they choose. Asked in Children and the Law Can you get a tattoo with a parent if your underage in Iowa?
In the state of Iowa you cannot get a tattoo if you are underage, even with a parent's consent or presence. You have to be over the age of 18 to be able to get a tattoo. Asked in Iowa What is the legal age for piercings in Iowa?Why don't fictional characters say "goodbye" when they hang up a phone? All Rights Reserved.
The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. Hottest Questions. Previously Viewed. Unanswered Questions.
Emancipation and Ages for Moving Out. United States of America. Can a year-old choose which parent they want to live with? Wiki User However, children usually aged thirteen and older have petitioned the courts to have change custody from one parent to another. Be aware that the judge will look at various aspects, not just what you want.
Why exactly do you want to live with your other parent? Is your current custodial parent in any way abusing you or preventing you from going to school?
If your mad because your one parent won't let you date or drive a car and living with your other parent you could, a judge probably won't see the need to change custody. The judge will look at your grades, your school attendance, any criminal history on your part. He will also see how mature you act and ask you why you feel your home life would be improved living with your other parent.
He can and may hear testimony from both your parents about how they feel about the situation. WHen can you chosse wich parent you want to live with?
When Can A Child Choose Which Parent To Live With
Asked in Custody How old do you have to be in Mexico to choose which parent you want to live with? In Mexico a minor can choose which parent to live with at the age of In Texas what age does a teenager have to be to choose which parent of a divorce they want to live with.
At what age can a child choose which parent they want to live with. But that's just my opinon. When you are 18 year old, you can choose where you want to live.
Asked in Children and the Law Can a child at the age of 14 pick which parent they want to live with? I want to know at what age must my daughter be before she can choose which parent she wants to live with.
Asked in Custody How old does a child need to be to choose what parent they want to live with in ks?The short answer is yes, but with caveats. The child can choose not to visit, but that decision is still subject to judicial review. Also, pursuant to Georgia law, children between the ages ofmay also express their desire and courts put substantial weight. Here are credible Georgia cases supporting similar, and unique, scenarios:. The Georgia Supreme Court in Prater v. WheelerGA found that a child aged 14 and older has the right to choose not to visit the non-custodial parent.
In Worley v. WhiddonGa. The Court held that visitation is a part of custody and is still subject to judicial review to protect the child from coercion by the other parent.
The trial court, however, is not precluded from considering the wishes of the child. A mother was not held in contempt in Doritis v.
DoritisGabecause the settlement agreement between the parties, which had become the Order of the Court, allowed visitation as the father and child agreed. Therefore, the visitation election of the child had been subject to judicial review. In Septemberin Dallow v.
DallowWLthe Supreme Court of Georgia issued an order finding that the mother was not in contempt when the child did not want to visit the father, because she did not actually interfere or withhold visitation.
When your child does not want to visit with the other parent, you need to ensure that you are not directly violating the Court order, granting custody to the other parent by withholding visitation. It is important to not disparage the other parent in front of the child, but encourage the child to visit with the other parent, and help the child sort through their feelings as to why they do not want to visit with the other parent.
Can A 16-Year-Old Modify Child Custody?
Often, a child psychologist may be able to help you and your child find the best way to help sort out the circumstances surrounding the emotional upheaval of the child. Proving to the court you are not, in fact, withholding visitation and are not therefore in willful contempt is a technical and difficult process, that requires experience in custodial rights.
If you are contemplating divorce or adjusting to life after divorce and would like to speak with an attorney, we invite you to get in touch.
To schedule a confidential consultation at one of our four convenient locations, please call or request an appointment online today. Weekend and evening appointments are available. Tweet Share Share. Can a child choose not to visit a non-custodial parent? Schedule A Consultation.Where a child lives after a divorce is a priority for many parents considering an end to their marital union.
Indiana Child Custody Questions
Younger children often remain in the marital home with one parent to assist in the transition and to promote a feeling of security. Many states have adopted time-sharing plans in favor of custody and visitation arrangements.
However, one thing remains the same—unemancipated children under the age of 18 typically do not have a right to choose which parent they live with after a divorce.
The laws relating to a child's preference for his or her custodial residence vary by state. Most states do not specify an age at which a child can choose which parent he or she lives with after a divorce.
Instead, the majority of states allows a judge to consider a child's reasonable preferences for living arrangements when making custody decisions.
The age at which a judge weighs a child's desire for living with one parent over the other depends more on maturity than chronological age.
Because parents may manipulate a younger child more easily than an older child, judges may not give as much weight to a younger child's preferences. This is not to say that a parent may not unfairly manipulate a teenager into choosing one home over another home. Therefore, judges usually investigate a teenager's request to live with one parent instead of viewing the request solely in relation to the child's age or maturity level.
In general, though, courts do not ask a minor child who he or she prefers to live with after a divorce.
However, teenagers may request to move in with the noncustodial parent for a variety of reasons. Ascertaining the reason for the request is the first step for parents to consider when discussing a change of residence. Determining the true reason for the desire to move can guide parents in determining if the move may be beneficial for the entire family. The overriding concern in any custody decision is the child's best interests.
If a teenager's safety or well-being is at risk living with a specific parent, a judge will not grant a teen's request to live with that parent. For instance, judges consider factors such as a parent's history of violence, domestic abuse, or substance abuse carefully when weighing a teenager's request to live with them.
The safety and stability of the home may also be factors in a judge's custody decision. Another factor may be the presence of a stepparent who attempts to interfere with or prevent a relationship between the teenager and the parent. Most states allow a judge to consider all factors that the judge believes are relevant in determining the teenager's best interest when deciding on their primary residence.
Regardless of the reason a teenager may want to move in with his or her other parent, parents have the responsibility to ensure that the final decision is in the best interest of the teenager, even though he or she may not recognize that fact right now. This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.
By River Braun, J. Possible Consideration of a Child's Age When Determining Custody The laws relating to a child's preference for his or her custodial residence vary by state. Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn more. Law Office of J.If a child decides to live with the non-custodial parent, is there anything the custodial parent can do to stop that child from doing so? Please note that these rules change according to state.
This also depends on whether there is a custody order. If there is no custody order in place, then the child can live with the non-custodial parent without having to involve the court. If there is a custody order in place, that order would need to be modified. In some states, custody may be modified at any time. For many states, the court must consider these factors in a best interest analysis:. Which party is more likely to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and another party.
The present and past abuse committed by a party, whether there is continued risk of harm to the child and which party can better provide adequate physical safeguards and supervision of the child. Please note that the child would have to speak with the court and let them know his or her preference. It has been usual that the court will not typically speak with children much younger than eight years old to determine what they would prefer.
Also, the older the child, the more weight their preference is given.The 6-Year-Old Chained In A Closet By His Own Family - The Oprah Winfrey Show - OWN
However, please note that the court will want the child to have ongoing and consistent contact with each parent. But I do not want to live with him I want to live with someone else so I can go to the same school what do I do and how do I do it. There is no way I can convince her to let me live with my dad. I am currently 17 years old, being five months away from turning 18 in West Virginia and wanting to live with my father who has a criminal record of abuse and alcohol abuse but is now recovered and sober; though my mother refuses to easily let this happen.
How might that be possible? Hi John, a friend of mine is going through a similar situation he has changed his life from his old addict was and now how his 17 year old son wants to come live with him.
Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Question: How old must a child be in order to choose which parent he or she wants to live with? Answer: Please note that these rules change according to state.
What If a Teen with Divorced Parents Wants to Live with the Opposite Parent?
DadsDivorce Editor. Those my 17yr old attend a custody hearing in the state of texas. Walk out the door and go. Very simple. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.
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