Is my Fiance's 12 yr. old daughter old enough to choose who she wants to live with?

Christina - posted on 04/02/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

27

12

11

My Fiance and I have been together for 2 yrs. plan on getting married in 3 months however sence he and I started dating his ex-girlfriend has refused to let him see his daughter or talk to her. His ex cheated on him moved out and took the daughter to move in with her boyfriend and now has a 10 month old daughter to raise plus my step daughter who is 12 now. We are going to court in 3 weeks and the daughter is 100% set on living with dad & I we both work and have a nice home and his daughter has everything here she needs, however the mother keeps telling my fiance no girlfriends and has lied on him so much to his daughter and to the courts,his daughter knows how mom is and knows that dad loves her and I love her so she knows mom is full of crap. The Ex lives with her illegal boyfriend and works part time as a waitress, on welfare and mother of 2. Do you think the daughter is old enough to choose who she wants to live with as long as the parents are stable,loving,supportive,and able to care for her? please help me with this>

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

14 Comments

View replies by

Kristy - posted on 05/02/2010

74

30

4

The Court will talk directly to the child alone, without lawyers present, and ask direct questions as to why the child wishes to live with one parent or the other. The judge is looking for the maturity of the child to make that decision. There is no set age. Joint custody and sole custody does not have anything to do with living or visitation arrangement. Joint custody actually is a legality that allows both parents to be joint decision makers and both have access to school records, medical records, etc. In a joint custody ruling, one parent is usually awarded primary custody and the other parent is awarded visitation. the judge will be listen to the child, and will look at both households as to which can provide the most stable, wholesome environment.

if you haven't talked to a lawyer, you should do so.

Sue - posted on 04/20/2010

1

1

0

if cafcass - the old court welfare people get involved in the court case, they will speak to all involved. they will work for the children and take their wishes ands needs seriously. good luck.

Whisper - posted on 04/18/2010

13

36

0

i truly hope so.... me and my husband have my step daughter joint custody week on week off... im hoping at the age of 12 she can finally decide that she wants to come stay with us... .at her mothers she spends maybe 15 hours a week with her.... its a crazy situation

Jane - posted on 04/16/2010

1,041

5

69

Yep...the judge will absolutely take the child's preference into consideration....and I say consideration because she is old enough to listen to but not old enough to actually decide. Good luck...I hope it all works out.

Leanne - posted on 04/15/2010

38

27

2

in wa australia a child has the right to say where thy wont to live and a judge has to listern but can still say that she has to stay with her mum but it is deffernitly up to the judge but get as much info of a lawyer as you can good luck

Suzanne - posted on 04/14/2010

3

24

0

I think at 12 she is definitely old enough to chose who she wants to live with especially in the conditions she is living in. Her mom is just using her as a pawn with your fiance and that is going to do some psychological damage down the road if it hasnt started manifesting already. The child needs to be put on the stand and tell the court what she wants and tell them how her mother is acting. honestly her mom probably just wants to keep her to keep the welfare.

April - posted on 04/13/2010

24

11

5

It depends on the laws in your state and the particular judge. They will listen to the girl's preference, but can choose to ignore it or follow it as they want. Most likely you will end up with joint custody. Make sure it gets laid out specifically so the Mom can't keep her away from her Dad. Police won't enforce a parenting agreement that's not signed by a judge and not specific.

Steffanie - posted on 04/07/2010

115

27

2

I believe so, document everything! Get as much proof as you can that his ex doesn't have her life together, and is an unfit mother. Usually the judge will go with who can provide the daughter with the best living enviroment.

Arianne - posted on 04/07/2010

8

13

0

It really depends on the maturity of the child and, of course, the laws. You should definitely speak to your attorney.

Jessica - posted on 04/03/2010

6

11

0

Christina,
Every state is different but for the most part YES, she IS old enough to decide where she wants to live. That being said, just because she tells the courts she wants to live in one house or the other does not mean the judge will agree. The judge will listent to both sides as well as talk to your soon to be step-daughter and then decide what is in the best interest of the child. The fact that the mom has kept the daughter from dad does NOT look good in the eyes of the court. No matter how bad mom may be as a parent the courts feel that a child should be able to see and spend time with both parents whenever possible. I wish you the best of luck.

Ellen - posted on 04/03/2010

122

21

14

That's a question you should ask your lawyer. From your post I would say she should be able to choose, especially since the mother does not support a relationship with her father. But the laws where you live may see things differently.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms