At what age can a child decide as to which parent they want to live with?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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At what age can a child decide as to which parent they want to live with?

When my ex-wife wanted to move out of state and take my son with her. At the time I was unemployed and didn’t have the funds to fight her, so I agreed. New Link Destination
let her take him with the

exception that at any time he didn’t want to be there he could come live with me. He will turn 16 in 2 months. He was to come to live with me in the state where I am now living but she won’t let


Asked on June 2, 2016 under Family Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Since there is a custody order in place, the court will have to decide wehther or not to change which parent has primary custody of your son. Until then you must all abide by the order. That having been said, typically, the older the child the more weight a judge will give their preference as long as the child is at least over the age of 12. At this point, you may want to consult directly with a local attorney who handles this type cases; they can best advise you further.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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