Can my Child Decide Who to Live With Permanently?

Question:jason bowman attorney kentucky

What age does a child have to be to be able to choose which parent he or she wants to live with permanently?


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue.

Your state’s statutes and case law will be able to provide you guidance as to whether the court will use the opinion of a minor child to determine with which parent the child will reside. 

A lot of states use a “best interest of the child” standard, which does not assign an age as to when a child gets to decide where he or she is going to live. However, the best interest standard may allow a court to take the child’s opinion into account along with other factors in determining where that child should reside.

The theory on this is that children are never old enough to make such a big decision or to know what is in their best interest. 

A child could decide that she wants to live with mom because there are no rules or boundaries in her home, but this may not be what is best for the child. However, to a child, this could make perfect sense in formulating an opinion.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Kentucky divorce lawyer Jason Bowman, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Can my Child Decide Who to Live With Permanently?

    My lawyer said that when my daughter turns 13 she could talk to the judge in chambers. Is this the case and I reside in pennsylvania.

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