When can a child decide which parent they want to live with after divorce?

| Jul 6, 2021 | Child Custody |

When you’re  going through a divorce, you want your children to be happy and healthy. What you may not be comfortable with them doing is deciding whom they’re going to live with. After all, you and your co-parent both have their best interests at heart.

That said, under Georgia law, children do have the right to choose whom they want to live with once they reach the age of 14.

Will a judge always go with the child’s choice?

Once your child is 14, there is a presumption that they may make the decision about where they want to live. The judge may not listen to this request in some cases, such as if it is found that the parent they selected is not fit to care for them or that the situation is not in the best interests of the child.

Keep in mind that children under the age of 14 may still have a say in where they go. Once children reach the age of 11, the judge will consider their wishes. The judge maintains complete discretion in those cases, though, and they may or may not do as the child wants.

Child custody complications? Know your rights as a parent

As a parent going through divorce, you may be concerned that your child will make decisions that you don’t agree with. Keep in mind that your child’s best interests control every aspect of your case. Even if they ask to go with the other parent, you and the other parent may have a say in what happens if that situation would not be best for them.