The court’s main concern will always be the best interests of the child in determining custody and visitation with your children. In general, a minor child will not have the right to choose which parent he/she will live with or the amount of time that the child will spend with each parent. Once the child turns 18 years old, this is when the court generally allows the child to live with the parent that he/she wishes.
However, if you ask the court to decide where your child will live, the judge will sometimes consider what the child wants, but this is only one factor that the judge will look to in making his/her order. The judge is also likely to consider why the child wants to live with one parent over the other, the level of stability and continuity of that parent’s home and living, the level of the child’s maturity including his/her emotional and intellectual development and whether there has been any influence on the child to choose to live with a particular parent. It is important to contact an attorney who can assist you in requesting the judge to look at these particular factors in order to put your child in the home which will be in his/her best interests.
For further information regarding custody and visitation please contact the Custody Attorneys for Southern California at 714-971-8000. Call today for your free 60-minute consultation.