What age can a child tell the courts ?

Jessica - posted on 07/06/2016 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I have a 9 year old stepson that wants to come live with his father and i. I need to find out what age he has to be to tell the courts who he wants to live with.
His mother barks order at him from the time he wakes up til the time he has to go to bed. When he walks in from school she never hugs him or kisses him, asks him about his day or anything.
D hasn't had much of a childhood with his Mother and his StepFather. It breaks our hearts to see and hear the way they treat him.
D is in the top of his 3rd grade class and is at a 7th grade reading level. He's the smartest 9 year old i know if anyone can give me any advice that could help D as well as us we would be grateful for it.

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Jodi - posted on 07/06/2016

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Do you actually hear this stuff first hand (as in, you are there when she treats him like this) or is this what he is telling you?

At 9, he really isn't old enough to make this choice himself, and his father's role is continue to encourage his relationship with both parents, and this includes his mother. Noone should be badmouthing her. Most courts won't take a child's views into account until they are about 12.

Dove - posted on 07/07/2016

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So there is no custody/visitation order?

Why does she have to be friends w/ you guys? Granted, I can see how it can make co-parenting easier, but there is nothing wrong w/ her not wanting to be friends w/ her ex-husband and his wife. You've known her for 11 years, you used to be friends, and you are w/ the father of her child. Even if she did do the leaving I can imagine that makes her rather uncomfortable.

Jodi - posted on 07/07/2016

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"My step son thought that he had 12 other mom's and 8 other dad's until 4 years ago."

Now I'm confused. How could he think he had 12 other mothers and 8 other fathers? Unless both parents were off having a great time? Or are you saying that in 5 years of his life, this child's mother has had affairs with 12 women and 8 men? And his father did nothing about it? Like a court order?

Dove - posted on 07/06/2016

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That would be a question for your husband's lawyer. I believe a court will generally be willing to hear from a child of 12-16 years of age, but whether or not the judge will allow the child to actually MAKE the choice... is really up to the specific judge.

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Jessica - posted on 07/07/2016

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What if we don't have one? when she went for CS and custody (before we got together)
He was working out of town on Towers. He maybe had a total of 8 weeks home in the year. My husband paid the child support she wanted $850 a month ( one 1 child), Carried the insurance , Paid Child care and what ever else she wanted with no questions asked. If she called him to get his opinion on something to do with D and she didn't like his opinion that she was asking for she would refuse to let him see him.
while i was pregnant with J she told D that we wouldn't want him anymore and that the baby i was caring wasn't really his sister it would only be his sister if she was having the baby.
Now to give you an idea she left what is now my husband 2 weeks before they was to be married for another girl.
My step son thought that he had 12 other mom's and 8 other dad's until 4 years ago.

Jessica - posted on 07/07/2016

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Yes we have both heard and seen it as well as many of our family and mutual friends that we all have. None of us bad mouth B- Mom or her husband to anyone. We have tried being friends with them and doing things all together as a big Family. B-mom just wont have any of it though.
We have a great partnership with my son L's Father and Stepmother and always do everything together as a huge Family. Both D's mom and L's Stepmom I have known for 11+ years. D's Mom and i used to be friends and just drifted apart not sure why but L's Stepmom and i have always been friends, She was with me every step of my pregnancy with L and so much more.
I would love nothing more than to be that close with D's mom but she makes it impossible and we are so much different than what we was years ago. All my Husband (D's) Father and i want is for him to be happy , loved and for our 9 year old to be able to enjoy what's left of his childhood

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