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    dragnflyangell's Avatar
    dragnflyangell Posts: 20, Reputation: 4
    New Member

    Jun 15, 2005, 06:25 AM
    How old till they can choose?
    How old does a teen have to be till they can choose where they live? My daughter is 14 and she is very unhappy where she is at. She wants to come and live with me. If her dad decides not to let her come and live with me what can I do leagally? We have joint custody and they live with him.
    classygrl's Avatar
    classygrl Posts: 15, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Jun 15, 2005, 07:23 AM
    My fiancé has had physical custody of his son for the past 7 years and because we live 87 miles from his mother, we agreed to weekend visitations. Now that their son is 14, 15 in 2 weeks, his mother constantly manipulates him to move back with her by giving him the guilt trip.
    At first, he would just tell her no and that he was happy where he was. That wasn't good enough for her. She decided the best way to have him want to move in, was if he had a girlfriend near her…sneaky! She would allow the girl friend to sleep over while we demanded she didn’t. So of course he wanted to live there! Wouldn't YOU? When he mentioned that he was thinking of a "trial period" of living with his mother, we got the court involved. The court told us that it was his decision!! I couldn't believe it.
    They didn't care that we gained custody because she smoked pot in front of him, or that she is unemployed, or lives with 6 other people in a 2 bedroom house which means he would sleep on a couch. They didn’t care that she has 2 other kids under 5 by different fathers, or that he would possibly quit school to pay her bills!! None of this mattered.
    I live in Massachusetts and a Boston Court System told me, all the kid has to say is that they want go, and they're gone! Pathetic but true.
    Thank God, the girlfriend thing backfired and he is still living with us, for now!! :)

    Hopefully your state has common sense!!
    I hope this helps.

    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member

    Jun 18, 2005, 07:58 AM
    Old enough
    How old is "old enough" for a judge to let a child decide?
    That is up to the judge, and you also need a lawyer to advise you.
    See a lawyer, one who doesn't charge you anything for the first visit. See what he/she tells you, and go from there.
    Best of luck,
    MFish1000's Avatar
    MFish1000 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 16, 2006, 02:59 PM
    Wow! That is unbelievable... I am in CA and I was always told that even though the child is old enough, the mediator/judge will make the decision based on the child's best interest... for example... where has he been living the majority of his life, is it a healthy environment, will a move tramatize the child, etc. When you say "you went through the court system", does that mean you saw a mediator or you actually were in front of a judge? If you went to mediation, I would find out the next step in getting a second opinion or different mediator. If you went through a judge, I was told (in CA anyway) that you have the right to request a new hearing ONE time (if you didn't like the judge or thought something fishy was going on). My views are, if you are not happy with the outcome, find a way to fight. Get your free 15 minute consultation from as many lawyers as you can and keep asking until you get the answer you want!
    Sosdog's Avatar
    Sosdog Posts: 39, Reputation: 4
    Junior Member

    Feb 17, 2006, 12:14 AM
    Although states vary in the rulings, as do judges, in cases like this, the guidelines for state law say that 'a child that has adequate mental capacity may decide which paternal parent they wish to live with.'

    This is determined by the judge, after interviewing the child, who then decides if the child has the ability to make a competent decision. The age is normally around 13 at a minimum, but it is just a guideline. There have been cases that allowed a child as young as 11 to determine which parent they wish to be with. The child does not need to justify or explain why he is choosing the parent, only demonstrate that they are capable of making an informed decision.

    educatedhorse_2005's Avatar
    educatedhorse_2005 Posts: 500, Reputation: 78
    Senior Member

    Feb 17, 2006, 04:52 AM
    Most states say age 14 is when they can start to decide for themselves

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