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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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

Son is 16, currently in Ks and wanting to live with
Mother who in Wy.

Asked on July 16, 2017 under Family Law, Wyoming


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, a minor child cannot choose which parent they want to live. A judge will look to many factors - income/education of the parents, the child's relationship with each parent, reason for wanting the change, the home enviornment, etc. That having been said, while a child cannot outright choose who they want to live with, if they are over the age of 12, a child's preference is given consideration and is one of the factors that the court considers. Further, the older the child, the more weight their preference is given.
As for the tax considerations, you would have to have a modification in the court order that gives your ex the deductions.  Be aware, if the court thinks that this is the primary reason for requesting the change in custody, it probably won't grant the modification

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption