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  1. #1
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    Default When the kids want to live with dad

    When the kids express wanting to live with the non custodial parent, how old do they have to be to make that decision. What if there are other siblings that want to go but aren't old enough to make the decision. Is this a long court thing or can the kids just say hey, we want to live with our dad and the courts will listen and let them move?!

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    My ex left when the girls were 13 and my lawyer said their preference would be considered when it went to court. Their dad wanted joint custody but the girls did not want to live with him at all. From what I understand, children under 12 don't have a say.
    Love seeketh not itself to please,
    Nor for itself hath any care,
    But for another gives its ease,
    And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.

    - William Blake (1757 - 1827)

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    So 12 is kinda the magic # - cool, thanks.

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    My DH's co-worker is in the same boat but his kids are 12 and 14. They want to stay with him. From what I understand his kids can express their wishes to the court. His youngest wants to stay with the Mom.

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    Heh... it's 12 as far as I know... and I had small ones who have always stated that they wanted to live with me from when they could walk and talk because it is quite painful living on the other side... they have a very stressed mother who has less tact then a prickly cactus.


    What actually happened when they got to be 12 is that they also found their best friends in the whole world. So, they would prefer to live with me for every reason of parenting... but the added variable to that choice us that they would be missing out on their trusted social circle that they worked so hard to build.

    I actually think that their friends need them around more then I do. My kids give great advice, especially when their friends are going through tough times.


    They do know that they always have the option... I suspect it's going to be taken when they get closer to 16... when they can get themselves in and out of town under their own automotive power.

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    And what if the custodial parent is not on board with the move?! Then what?!

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    I think it's 12 too. I don't know what happens in that case. There was never any custody issues when my parents divorced they were good friends through it all. I hope you guys can work things out.
    Your life is a result of the choices you make, if you don't like your life it's time to start making better choices.

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    my BFF is going through that right now.
    from what we have learned is that the kids can get their own appointed lawyer and fight to make that decision on their own which they are doing. and they are 7 and 8.
    ~Who ever said "don't cry over spilt milk" has never been a breast feeding mother with latch issues standing over a puddle



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    My aunt and uncle were in a looooooong custody battle over my cousins, and my uncle eventually won (he already had physical custody). Then, several years down the line, one of my cousins wanted to go live with mom. He was about 10-11 and the courts did listen and allow it. The other child also went to mom about a year later. Two years later they both decided to go back to dad, and again the courts allowed it.
    "Anything is better than lies and deceit". Leo Tolstoy

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    Our friend (the dad) was in this situation, his son wanted to live with him more than anything. So our friend's lawyer told the child that on the day he turned 12 to hop on his bike with his stuff and bike to dad's and that there was nothing the police would do to stop him if mom called them.
    The son actually DID do this and he has been with his dad ever since.
    Not the best advice but it worked for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rachel0722 View Post
    Our friend (the dad) was in this situation, his son wanted to live with him more than anything. So our friend's lawyer told the child that on the day he turned 12 to hop on his bike with his stuff and bike to dad's and that there was nothing the police would do to stop him if mom called them.
    The son actually DID do this and he has been with his dad ever since.
    Not the best advice but it worked for them.
    That surprises me as I thought a child had to be 16 to choose for themselves. My SO's daughter (in a moment of temper) threatened to go live with her best friend when she turned 12 because kids at school told her that was the magic age to decide for yourself. We set her straight.
    Love seeketh not itself to please,
    Nor for itself hath any care,
    But for another gives its ease,
    And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.

    - William Blake (1757 - 1827)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMC2008 View Post
    And what if the custodial parent is not on board with the move?! Then what?!
    My friend and her ex had / have joint (one week there, one week here). At 12 the daughter stated that she wanted to stay with Mom and visit (including over night at times) at Dad's. Dad did not agree. Took it through the court system (child appointed whoever with interviews with parents, step parents, teachers, etc.) took about a year and $ and in the end .... the judge said “will leave things as they are“. Daughter was upset and would not stay at her dad's and would 'run away' as soon as they pulled into his drive. There is a younger boy too and this had nothing to do with him as he was 9 at the time. After a few of these 'run aways' and refusing to go, Dad agreed and daughter stayed with Mom, although no difference was made to the child support as that would have been another court go around.

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    Well I guess we'll just see how it goes. I guess in the case I am referring to, kids are loyal to the custodial parent out of fear and because the custodial parent makes them feel sorry for that person. Such as “well we can't hang Christimas lights this year because your FATHER took them when he left“ (even though “father“ left because she kicked him out, and “mother“ has more than enough money to take 5 vacations per year,etc) It's sad and the kids involved have stated that they want to live with their dad, there is no pressure or anxiety at dad's place and they feel like they can be themselves and aren't questioned to death about things, etc.
    Out of the kids involved the oldest won't leave without their siblings who are a bit younger, so by the time the youngest is able to make the decision to move, the oldest will be over 18 anyway. Dang.

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    Our lawyer said that the kids don't ever fully get a say in where they want to live. Until they are 16, or until you are able to no longer “keep“ them against their will, if that makes sense.
    But, the court will take in to account their wishes, but the other parent can fight it and prove it's not the best thing for the child. We just finished our court stuff in March and J was 11 and his wishes were taken into account, but were not what made the court case.

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    Our lawyer said that the kids don't ever fully get a say in where they want to live. Until they are 16, or until you are able to no longer “keep“ them against their will, if that makes sense.
    Yeah that its not that kids get the choice its they can be heard and listened to and have thier wishes taken into account but no they never get the actual choice.

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