At What Age Can A Child Choose Custody?

St. Louis divorce lawyerQuestion:

My child custody question is about at what age can a child choose where to live?

My ex-wife and I have joint legal and physical custody. However, our daughter has been living with her aunt for the past several years because her behavior was out of control when living with us.

My ex now wants her to come back and live with her, but my daughter is thriving in her new environment and doesn’t want to move back home.

My question is at what age does my daughter have the right to decide where she wants to live?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can only give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Missouri divorce laws where I am temporarily permitted to practice.

Except for when a child reaches the age of 18, (specifically when he or she becomes a legal adult), my state’s laws do not provide any bright line rule as to what age a child can outright decide where he or she prefers to live.

In child custody determinations and in subsequent custody modifications, a court may take into account the child’s wishes, however, there are no guarantees based upon all of the underlying facts of the case.

Choosing Mom Or Dad:

Can A Child Choose Where To Live?

Keep in mind that the older a child gets, the more difficult it is to force them to do anything, let alone alter their living arrangement. Since you have joint legal and physical custody of your child, and a court order was seemingly not entered regarding your child’s current living arrangement with her aunt, the most likely way that the custodial situation will change is if your daughter expressly consents to it, which given your description, she will probably not do.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men. Consult with a local divorce lawyer for specific legal advice on divorce.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Jennifer de Lyon Stralka, a St. Louis divorce lawyer, contact Cordell & Cordell Law Firm.

End of Content Icon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *