There is no legal age. At 18 they have the choice. A judge will take their feelings into consideration but the definition of a child is that they do not have enough knowledge to make such choices, that’s why parents are there to protect and guide them.


Dear richard hellen:

It is true that a minor child cannot choose where they want to live - they are subject to the court’s power until age 18 unless emancipated (which can occur at age 16). However, the court will take into consideration a child’s wishes at a certain age. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


what is the legal age in north carolina for a child to choose his or her residence