What to do if my 12 year old daughter wants to live with her dad?

UPDATED: Oct 21, 2012

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What to do if my 12 year old daughter wants to live with her dad?

We currently have a 60/40 share custody agreement and she lives with me. Will the courts change the agreement simply because she wants it or must there be a change in circumstances that has effected her.

Asked on October 21, 2012 under Family Law, New Jersey


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Typically, a minor child cannot choose which parent they want to live with.  A court will , however, look to many factors such as their home environment, the income and education of the parents, the child's relationship with each parent and the reason for wanting the change, etc. In other words, has there been a significant change in circumstances that affects the child's best interests.

That having been said, while a child cannot outright choose where they want to live, once over about the age of 12, a child's preference is given consideration and is one of the factors that the court considers.

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