If my father has custody of me and I am 17 years of age, can I decide which parent I would rather live with?

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If my father has custody of me and I am 17 years of age, can I decide which parent I would rather live with?

Asked on December 18, 2012 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Because of your age, you are old enough to express a preference for who you would want to live with.  The courts can and do take into consideration the preferences of the child.  However, the court is not required to go along with your preference.  If they find that the change in residence would be positive and would be in your best interest, then they can approve the change in custody.  If they find that the change would not be in your best interest, then the judge does not have to approve a change in custody.  Of course, before the request gets to the judge, it must go through at least one of your parents.  To change custody, one of them would have to file a motion to modify custody.  After the motion to modify was filed, then it would be up to your parents to reach an agreement.  If they cannot agree, then the judge over your case will make the final determination.


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