Can I get custody if both my children want to live with me?

UPDATED: Aug 18, 2011

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: Aug 18, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I get custody if both my children want to live with me?

My husband and I seperated 3 1/2 years ago. My daughter went to live with him and my son stayed with me, by their choice. Now both my kids want to leave with me permanently because their dad is emotionally abusive towards them. I’m going to try and ask him for custody but I know he will say no because he does not want to have to pay me child support. Do I have any chance of getting custody of my daughter if she wants to live with me? My daughter is 14 and my son is 12 and I thought they were allowed to decide for themselves. Is this true? And what happens if their dad says no?

Asked on August 18, 2011 Washington


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You will have to go back to court and file to re-open your custody case. Custody arrangements can me modified based on changed circumstances. However a minor child cannot simply choose with which parent they want to live. The court will look as certain factors in making its decision - home environment, income and education of the parents, the child's relationship with each parent and extended family, reason for wanting the change, etc. 

Yet, while a child cannot outright choose where they want to live, if they over the age of 12, their preference is given consideration and is one of the factors taken into consideration by the judge. And the older the child, the more weight it is given.

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