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When Can a Child Pick Which Parent to Live With?

 

Little boy sitting next to an old suitcaseThe most common question posed to a family law attorney when discussing custody matters is at what age can my child pick with whom and where he would like to live?  Most clients believe the “magic age” is fourteen, as the health care system has permitted children to make medical privacy decisions at this age, but this is not so with custody actions.  The easiest answer to the question is that a child can make the decision of where he wants to reside when he reaches the age of eighteen, as that is the age of majority.  Even with the 2011 changes to the Pennsylvania custody code, no changes were made to the issue of whether a child has the right to determine with which parent he wants to reside.  In fact, the general consensus in the legal field is that judges should never ask a child this question, as by doing so it places an unnecessary burden on the child. (Continue reading).