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Can my child choose where to live after divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 29, 2021 | Child Custody

Living in Pennsylvania during your divorce, it’s important for you to get to know the state’s laws. One of the things that may influence your case is if you have a child. If you do, then you should be aware of the custody rules that apply.

As your child gets older, they may have their own opinions about where they want to live and who they’d rather live with. As a parent, your goal should be to do what is right for them and to give them some control over their circumstances when warranted.

That said, Pennsylvania has its own guidelines that you should follow.

When can a child choose which parent to live with in Pennsylvania?

Did you know that there is no law that dictates what age a child must be before they choose who to live with? The court will decide what is in the best interests of your child even if your child doesn’t agree with you, your spouse or the judge.

As a parent, it’s a good idea to talk to your child to get a feel for what they want, even though they don’t have the option to choose outright. For example, if you have a 16-year-old child who would like to live with their dad because his home is closer to their school and workplace, then that move might make sense. If you have a five-year-old child who wants to live with the other parent because they don’t like being apart, that might not be enough to make that change. Instead, looking into more regular visitation could work instead.

These kinds of issues will arise when you have children who are going through your divorce with you. It’s a good idea for you and your spouse to get on the same page, so that your child understands that the custody decisions being made are what you all agree are best. In contentious cases, remember that your child may be able to speak with the court and make their wishes known, so the outcome could be unpredictable if a judge has to make the decision.