You and your ex-spouse talked about custody issues related to your divorce, and you thought you had everything settled. Then, you both sat down with your teen to talk to them about the decisions that had been made. But you never discussed at what age a child can choose where to live.
That’s when you realized that your decisions may not be well-received. Your child was strongly opinionated and told you that they didn’t want to primarily live in your home. They said they wanted the choice and wanted to go live with their other parent, even though you and that parent had come to this arrangement and agreed to it together.
Do children really get to choose their custody arrangements? Could they hurt your case if they want to be heard in court?
For the most part, a judge looking at this kind of situation is going to side with two parents who agree with each other on a parenting plan and custody agreement, though they will often listen to what a child has to say. In Kentucky, your child’s wishes will be considered. There is no set age a child can choose where to live.
At what age can a child choose where to live?
There is no specific age at which your child gets to say where they’d like to live. There is also no law that gives your child the right to decide where they want to live, especially if their parents have set up another custody schedule or worked out a solution during divorce mediation or other dispute resolution options.
Keep in mind that you do want to do whatever is in the best interests of your child. So, if they are very unhappy living with you and there is an opportunity to have them live with the other parent without disrupting your agreement, then that might be something to consider. At the same time, it is up to you and your ex-spouse to talk to your child about why they feel the way they do and to decide if their complaints or concerns have merit.
At the end of the day, it is up to the parents to determine the best custody arrangement for their children. Even if the court will hear them, two parents who agree to different custody arrangements are more likely to have those arrangements put into place.