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    trevorsdad's Avatar
    trevorsdad Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 26, 2008, 05:48 PM
    Child choosing custodial parent


    I live in Alexandria VA. My question is, what is the age that a child can give consent that he may want to live with the other parent? I have heard 12 or is it 13 in VA?

    Please give me all of the information available to this request for VA.
    stinawords's Avatar
    stinawords Posts: 2,071, Reputation: 150
    Ultra Member

    Oct 26, 2008, 06:36 PM

    The chid does not choose where to live until they are no longer a child. The judge will listen to their testimoney but it will always be up to the judge. The ncp will obviously have to petition the court for the change of custody and have more of a case than he/she wants to live with me.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man

    Oct 26, 2008, 06:36 PM

    First its not a good idea to piggyback your question on someone else's. This can lead to confusion. You should start a new thread. So I've moved your question to its own thread.
    In no state can a child (under 18) choose which parent to live with. The decision is made by a Family Court judge. The judge will listen to the child at their discretion. Some states do have guidelines about when and how much weight they can place on the child's choice. But they have to make the decision based on what they feel is the best interests of the child.

    What happens is the non-custodial parent submits a petition in Family court for a change of custody. The judge will hear the case and make their decision.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,301, Reputation: 7692

    Oct 26, 2008, 07:15 PM

    The child may at 12, tell the court which parent they would LIKE to live with but the court does not have to agree, they will still look at all of the evidence and what they believe is in best interest of the child.
    But to do this the parent without custody has to file in court for custody.
    cadillac59's Avatar
    cadillac59 Posts: 1,326, Reputation: 94
    Ultra Member

    Oct 26, 2008, 08:35 PM

    Without a doubt this has to be the MOST asked question in family law. And it's one of the easiest to answer: age 18.

    In California the court may consider the child's preference giving due consideration to his age, maturity, and any other factors the court deems relevant to the decision. But it always remains the judge's call (until 18 or emancipation of course).

    Now, having said all of that, my personal experience as a family law specialist is that after about age 15 or 16 most judges are loath to make orders on custody that the child opposes. In other words, no judge wants to (or likely will) order a 16 or 17 year old to live with his mom if the kid refuses (and has a home with the dad, for instance); in other words no judge is going to send a 17 year-old kicking and screaming to live with mom if he doesn't want to. Why? Because the orders are likely to be violated and will probably be in all practicality unenforeceable. Courts don't like to make orders that will be ignored and can't be enforced.

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