At What Age Can A Child Decide Which Parent To Live With?
At what age can a child decide who he or she wants to live with?
Attorney Jason Cruz explains that. A child can decide whom they want to live with at the threshold of about 11 years of age. Once the child hits 11 then the child can, at that point, express their desires as to whom they can reside with; however, the statute modified that particular decisions here in Texas some years ago, where it used to be that once a child reached that age they could designate that was essentially it.
They just decided who they wanted to reside with and you could even file a statement with the court designating their preference and then the court would theoretically be compelled to make the change; however, since the change in legislature has been made, it is not so cut and dry anymore.
Although the child is still entitled to make a preference and they can even actually make a preference before 11 but 11 is still the bright-line age in which they are deemed to be mature enough to make these kinds of choices.
That is only one piece of information that the court can consider. They still need to make a determination based on all the evidence and they still need to make a determination that the child’s expressed preference is in their best interest. So it is a little more delicate than it used to be.
Once the child turns 11 they used to file these designations and then try to change them immediately and the legislature determined that this was not a good practice for anyone let alone the courts. It’s often there approach on this to allow the courts more discretion when making these type of changes concerning children at such an impressionable age.
For a free phone consultation contact attorney Jason Cruz in San Antonio Texas at 210.524.7798
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