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Can My Child Choose Who They Want to Live With?

You may already know that child custody is determined by what the court believes to be in the child’s best interests. The court will evaluate the parents’ home environment and the child’s wellbeing to ultimately create a time-sharing agreement in which the child can grow and flourish with the care of their parents. But did you know that the court may take the child’s living preference into consideration under certain conditions?

The Child’s Preference

During a child custody battle, it is natural for your children to have a preference of which parent they wish would have primary custody. Your child may share their wishes with you or your soon-to-be-former spouse and you should take them seriously, even if you do not agree with them. Depending on your child’s age, their preference will be considered differently.

How Age Impacts The Court’s Consideration

Despite your children having a preference on which parent they wish to live a majority of the time with, the court does have guidelines on which age they may use this preference in the determination of custody. Before the age of 11, a child’s preference will not be considered by the courts in the determination of child custody. The courts will only consider what is in the child’s best interests when creating a time-sharing agreement.

If your child is aged 11 to 13, the courts may consider the child’s preference and emergent needs when determining custody. With the child’s preference at this age, the court is not able to make a custody determination solely on the child’s desires. However, at the age of 14 the child then has the option to elect which parent should have primary custody.

There are certain circumstances in which the courts would not consider the child’s preference or election, mainly if the preference is not in the child’s best interests or if there are family violence matters at hand.

Atlanta Child Custody Lawyers

Our child custody attorneys at KF Law, LLC understand how important it is to get your child custody decision right. If your child has a preference for primary custody, our attorneys will fight for your family’s best interests and the wellbeing of your child. With over 50 years of combined experience, our attorneys are prepared to set your case up for success and bring you the best possible outcome.

Does your child have a preference for which parent will have primary custody? Call our child custody attorneys today at (678) 326-4611 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our team.

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