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Can the Kids Decide Where They Will Live?

Many times a client will ask can my child decide where he or she will live? The simple answer is no. There are several factors the court must consider. One of which is the child’s wishes. So the child’s wishes will always be considered but there are plenty of reasons why that might not be the final answer. For example if there are two parents and one of the parents is very strict about homework and does not have an extra car, and the other parent who has several extra cars and is not too strict about homework assignments there are obvious reasons why one child might prefer to be with one parent rather than the other. So the court, and the guardian ad litem, and sometimes the custody evaluator if involved, will listen to the child’s wishes but will also make an opinion as to whether or not child’s wishes are based in sound reasoning. As children mature, the weight of their wishes will be given greater deference by the court.

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