At what age can children decide primary care giver


#1

My son is 12 and is making noises about moving in with me. I had heard that he can make that decision when he is 13, but don’t know for sure. I know his mother will fight, even if he outright says he wants to move in with me. I want to know if there is a standard or precedence on which to base a “defense”.

Assuming there is a standard, my other son is 10 (will be 11 when the older one turns 13)… would the court consider splitting the children, even if both decide to change caregivers but only one is, in fact, old enough to legally make the decision??


#2

There is no age when a minor child can decide which parent to live with. The court may hear testimony from a child concerning his wishes, however it is not determinative in making a ruling on custody.


#3

Thank you. What sort of items are “determinative in making a ruling on custody”?


#4

Child custody is determined based on all factors which have a bearing on the child’s best interests.


#5

That’s pretty vague…I cannot think of any “measurable” difference or change of circumstances. We are both good parents. I have a slightly more stable household (have been in the same place since separation whereas she has moved 3 times), I have separate bedrooms for the children whereas they share at her home…but overall, nothing of significance has changed other than the fact the oldest one WANTS to move in with me. I would hope his decision would be enough, but I can tell you the change in CS will make the ex fight and say/do whatever in order to keep the children with her. I think having to show “significant change in circumstance” is very unfair!