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  1. #1
    bkthompson82473 is offline Junior Member
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    Can my child decide who he wants to live with???

    State - Texas
    County - Dallas
    Father, Petitioner, 5/2/5/2 custody.

    I don't know how much info you need.

    I have 2 children (boy = 13, girl = 9) with my ex, and 1 boy (10 months) with my new wife.

    My son (13) wants to live with me full time. I have asked the ex to let him, but she will not fearing that I will lower the child support. I have been told that it's a simple "go before the judge and let your child state where he wants to live" procedure. She will obviously fight me with an attorney.

    Questions;

    1. Is it as simple as asking the judge to let my son live with me full time?

    2. Does my son really have to go before the Judge?

    3. Can this be done with out an attorney?

    Thank you so very much for your help!!!What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    CSO286 is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkthompson82473 View Post
    State - Texas
    County - Dallas
    Father, Petitioner, 5/2/5/2 custody.

    I don't know how much info you need.

    I have 2 children (boy = 13, girl = 9) with my ex, and 1 boy (10 months) with my new wife.

    My son (13) wants to live with me full time. I have asked the ex to let him, but she will not fearing that I will lower the child support. I have been told that it's a simple "go before the judge and let your child state where he wants to live" procedure. She will obviously fight me with an attorney.

    Questions;

    1. Is it as simple as asking the judge to let my son live with me full time?

    2. Does my son really have to go before the Judge?

    3. Can this be done with out an attorney?

    Thank you so very much for your help!!!What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    Children do NOT get to choose which parent to live with until they are 18 (or 21in some states).

    You can ask. But really, nothing you've posted is grounds for a change of custody. The wishes of the CHILD do not count as a change in circumstances....

    The wishes of a CHILD may carry some weight in court depending on child's inteligence and maturity.
    Or they may not.
    If both adults can agree, then the child would not need to speak to the judge (or provide a written statement.)

    It can be done without an attorney.

    You may or may not win.
  3. #3
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSO286 View Post
    Children do NOT get to choose which parent to live with until they are 18 (or 21in some states).

    You can ask. But really, nothing you've posted is grounds for a change of custody. The wishes of the CHILD do not count as a change in circumstances....

    The wishes of a CHILD may carry some weight in court depending on child's inteligence and maturity.
    Or they may not.
    If both adults can agree, then the child would not need to speak to the judge (or provide a written statement.)

    It can be done without an attorney.

    You may or may not win.
    With a 13 year old kid and no reasons why it would be in the best interests of the child (other than a child's preference), I'd say the chances of winning are very slim. The result will almost certainly be significant damage to their ability to co-parent. I would therefore advise against even attempting it unless there's some stronger reason than 'he wants to'.
  4. #4
    dmcc10880 is offline Member
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    You can certainly file for a custody modification.

    At 13, your child is entitled to tell the judge (in chambers) not open court, his preference of custodial parent. The court may also modify child support if your expenses will increase by virtue of having sole physical custody.

    However, while your son's preferences will be taken into account, you really have to provide a more substantial change in circumstance (changing needs of the child as he grows older, re-marriage of your ex-wife, misconduct, abuse, etc.) to be successful.

    You should run this by an attorney.
  5. #5
    MichaCA is offline Senior Member
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    You must talk to an attorney on this one.

    For ex., in CA just this past January some laws changed which give children more say in some family matters.

    You need to talk to a local attorney to really know.
  6. #6
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    I believe that, in TX, at 14, a child can file an affidavit of preference, indicating which parent s/he would prefer to live with. However, this is not binding on the court, and the judge may decide that the child should remain where s/he is. Kiddo would need some pretty solid reasons, as well.
  7. #7
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealth2 View Post
    I believe that, in TX, at 14, a child can file an affidavit of preference, indicating which parent s/he would prefer to live with. However, this is not binding on the court, and the judge may decide that the child should remain where s/he is. Kiddo would need some pretty solid reasons, as well.
    Particularly when it would involve separation from a sibling.

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