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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    4

    Default The Age At Which A Child Can Pick A Custodial Parent

    I need to know at what age can a child decide if they want to spend time with other parent, or pick who they live with. This is a Michigan divorce with joint legal and physical custody.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    759

    Default Children Don't Get To Choose

    Children are not given a choice under Michigan law. They are expected to abide by their parents' custody order, and it is anticipated that the parents will facilitate this process.

    If they are old enough to express an opinion and the parents so desire, the court will entertain their opinion, but that's only one factor considered by a court in making a custody or parenting time decision.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1

    Default How about New Jersey Law

    Our agreement has been in place for two years. Joint legal and residential custody. The kids (15 and 10) spend every other week with me. The ex is now trying to talk the 15 year old into going into court to say that he wants to live with her. She is really after the 10 year old thinking that if she can get the 15 year old that the judge won't seperate the two and she will get both. The 15 yo and I have a great relationship he just likes our original home better.
    I could go on forever about other details leading up to this but I just want to know how much weight his testimony will carry and if there are any sites or recommendations people could give me to head this off.
    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    nj
    Posts
    7

    Default

    My daughter is 12. I live in nj. I have joint custody with my ex wife having primary residence. My ex had the local police drop my daughter off 2 months ago with no explanation. Apparently they were arguing. My ex has seen her for only 7 hours in the last 2 months. I filed for Custody but the Courts turned it down. They said it has to be done through mediation. I am now setting this up. My daughter wants to live with me. Should I have her attend mediation? Her mother told the Courts that my daughter has been living with her these last two months. She lies to try to get the child support money and that is all she seems to care about.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Divorce and child custody sucks. The kids always lose. My divorce was in the state of Nevada. Nevada says that @ 14 they can decide. When my son (now 19) turned of age and came to visit (Texas) he begged to stay. I did everything my attorney asked me to do - documenting, therapy, etc. My son had to return after summer visitation. When he got back everything shifted to me brainwashing him. He says now that it was his mom. She lied and played games. When my daughter turned 15 last year she wanted to move with me. It was very heartbreaking but I asked my son to mediate. She still lives with her mom and the subject has not come up. Bottom line: The custodial parent (typically a woman) use the kids as a puppet. It's not right (my second wife does not do that with her kids, but her ex does not care about them) but it happens My thoughts: unless you have a very good attorney (one dedicated to you and your kids) and deep pockets, be a parent and comfort them. They'll get older and realize. I know. It's great to have my son around me now. But I missed him gowing up. I haven't seen my daughter in two years. My ex makes all the excuses in the world for her not to see me. She won't send pictures to me of my daughter, but she'll send them to my son. It's all about money.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: The Age At Which A Child Can Pick A Custodial Parent

    My understanding is that technically , children have no legal 'right to choose' at all, since they are minors which makes them "legal incompetents". That means they're not recognized by the family courts (or any courts for that matter) as being able make legally binding decisions, including decisions regarding their custody.

    But I know that from my husband's case (I'm the step-mom) the judge DID ask to speak with his 13-yr-old daughter privately, to see if he could get a read on whether or not she was being coerced in any way. He also encouraged us to get her an attorney of her own who could speak for her, legally. But I got the impression that she would've had a bit more say in the matter if she'd been a little older.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: The Age At Which A Child Can Pick A Custodial Parent

    My personal experience has been that the older the child is, the more weight the court will place on their wishes to be with one parent over the other. However, I don't know of any courts that "allow a child to choose."

    "Kids pick with their feet" so even if the parent of choice is not considered the better parent (but not unfit), the thought is that the child will just make their way to that parent; regardless of the court order.

    Very tough situation that I would wish on NO family; particularly the child(ren). Most children do not understand the full ramifications of their decision and if they DO, what an awful burden to place on a child - to choose one parent over the other.

    Good luck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,032

    Default Re: The Age At Which A Child Can Pick A Custodial Parent

    People, This thread is well over 3 years old. Please keep your "advice" to CURRENT (1 week) threads.

    Thanks!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,644

    Default Re: The Age At Which A Child Can Pick A Custodial Parent

    It's over five years old.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: The Age At Which A Child Can Pick A Custodial Parent

    Yeah... I apologize. I replied to the most recent post and didn't see the date of origin. Sorry about that!

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