Can A Child Decide Which Parent They Want To Live With?

Well, the answer to that is yes and no. First off, it depends on the age of the child. If the child is under 13 years of age, generally we feel like the child is too young to decide which parent they want to live with. If the child is reasonably mature and generally a teenager, then the child’s voice is a factor regarding what the court would order concerning visitation and who the child wants to live with. However, that’s only one of many factors that the court has to consider in deciding where the child is going to reside and what parenting time is going to look like with the other parent.

Other factors include their best interest standard for the child. So, what is in that child’s best interest in terms of supporting the relationship with the other parent? In terms of getting the child to and from school? There’s other practical everyday issues that families struggle with.

So, while the child may have a say, if the child is sufficiently old enough and mature enough, it’s just one factor that the court would consider in determining where the child would actually reside.