child putting hand on parent's hand

Can a Child Choose Which Parent They Want to Live With?

When it comes to child custody, such matters are based on the best interests of the child. While babies and toddlers are obviously too young to express any kind of preference for who they live with, parents may wonder if older children who can vocalize their wishes have a say in custody matters. Usually, children cannot outright choose which parent they will live with, but their preference may have some weight, depending on the circumstances of the case.

A Child’s Preference in a Custody Case

In California, children who are 14 years of age or older may have a right to state which parent they would like to live with. Younger children may also be able to express their preferences. Either way, the courts may overrule their wishes if they determine that it is not in their best interests. It is doubtful that a Judge will automatically accept the preference of a child when it comes to their living arrangement.

The reason why children are not allowed to make such decisions is because of the reasoning behind their preferences. For example, a kid may want to live with their father because they are allowed to stay up late or eat junk food whenever they get to visit their dad. Another reason why children may not be allowed to make these decisions is because family courts understand that, in some cases, a parent may coerce a child into choosing to live with them.

Essentially, children are too young to determine what is best for them. Although a Judge may allow them to state their preference, these matters are based on what is in their best interests.

Schedule a Case Review with Our Experienced Child Custody Attorney Today!

Child custody matters are among some of the most sensitive legal issues most will ever face. At The Law Offices of Andrea Schneider, our knowledgeable attorney will strategize with you to help you achieve your goals. We understand the difficulties parents may face throughout this process and will provide the compassionate legal support you need to smoothly navigate it and obtain the most favorable results for your circumstances.

Reach out to our law office today at (619) 304-8499 to schedule an initial consultation with our attorney to discuss the details of your child custody case and learn more about what we can do for you.