Can a child choose which parent it wants to live with?

A lot of parents and children who are affected by divorce want to know whether or not the child has much say in where it gets to live after the divorce has been finalized. This determination has a lot to do with the specific circumstances that surround your case, as many factors must be taken into consideration. It may help you in your divorce if your children state to you that they want to live with you. However, that’s just one factor of a number of different factors that a court would have to look into when making the decision as to which parent should be the residential parent of the children.

If a five-year-old child says to his or her mother I want to live with you, that’s much different than a 17-year-old child saying I want to live with a particular parent or not. A young child is just going to decide which parent they like better that day and not consider whether or not it is beneficial for them to spend the majority of their time with that parent in the long run. An child who is age 16 or 17 will have a much better idea of which parent would be in their best interest to live with and will provide them with better care.

What it really comes down to is that the older the child and the higher levels of maturity that the child displays holds a much greater weight than a young child expressing a preference for one parent over the other. You must bear in mind, that is not the determinative factor of which parent would be awarded custody if there was a custody dispute.

If you require experienced legal representation for divorce and family law matters, contact the Law Offices of Mark S. Paige, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.