Can a Child Choose Which Parent to Live With?

family law
15 November

Can a Child Choose Which Parent to Live With?

When working with a divorce attorney St Charles to determine child custody, things can get very difficult and emotional. One of the most common questions that come up is whether or not that child can choose the parent in which he or she would like to live with for the majority of the time. No parent wants to be rejected by their child and in many cases the child will not have this option. However, at a certain age, the child’s interests should be considered. The child does, at a certain age, have the right to decide which parent they will be living with. Here we will discuss the situations in which this option is available. 

Divorce Attorney St Charles: Custodial Parents in Missouri

In the state of Missouri, there are eight factors that courts consider when making a decision. The first being the preference of the child. In Missouri, it is not specified at which age the court can consider the child’s preference. For this reason, the court will consider the preferences once it has concluded that the child has matured to a satisfactory degree. Keep in mind that all of these are singular factors and no single factor will have enough wright to sway the decision. 

To build a case, the court will get many testimonials from relatives, teachers, and anyone else that is close to the situation. They may even ask for input from psychological experts. The ultimate goal is to get the child into the healthiest environment possible. 

Parenting style will also be considered. If the child chooses a parent that is clearly not providing a stable environment, the court may decide to choose the other parent despite the child’s preferences. 

When can the Child Choose? 

According to Missouri law, and local divorce attorney St. Charles, a child will not have the ability to decide which parent to live with until the age of 18. It is very important for the court to come to a conclusion as to why the child has the preferences that they do. This should be done as well as considering all seven of the other factors that go into this decision. 

Have more Questions? 

If you have any more questions, do not hesitate to contact the legal experts at Flesner Wentzel Law today! Our friendly staff would be happy to assist you with any questions you may have. Contact us today!


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