Is there an age that the children can petition the court to come and live with the other parent out-of-state?

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2011

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Is there an age that the children can petition the court to come and live with the other parent out-of-state?

They are 10, 11, 14 years old. We have joint custody. They live with us during the summer and with their mother during the school year in FL. My divorce was finalized in VA and I live in MD. Which state would we need to go to court in?

Asked on August 25, 2011 Maryland


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

At this stage of the game it is not the children that would petition the court.  it would be you as their parent to petition for a modification of the custody agreement and to have physical custody of the children.  The general rule is that the petition mus be brought in the state in which the children are physically residing.  The court does not have jurisdiction over the proceeding otherwise.  I think that yo may be asking if the children can testify in court as to whom they wish to live with, correct?  They are all of a decent age to give their preferences to the court.  obviously the older that they are the court may place more weight in their testimony.  They can not want t live with you because Mom is too strict.  That would not fly.  I would suggest seeking legal help here. 

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