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

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Asked on May 28, 2017 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A minor child cannot outright choose which parent they want to live with. The court will look to many factors including the reason for wanting the change, their home environment, the income and education of the parents, the child's relationship with each parent, etc. However, while a child cannot choose where they want to live, if they over the age of about 12 their preference is given greater consideration by the court in making its decision. Basically, the older the child the more weight it is given.
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