Answer by CarolynBarnett at 5:28 PM on Jan. 20, 2009
In Virginia, they give a 13 year old the right to express a preference for who they want to live with if the parents are not together. BUT - if the court decides that it would be not in the child's interests to stay there, the court doesn't have to give in to the child's desire. A child doesn't have the exclusive right to live where they want to until the age of 16 ... when they can petition the court to become an emancipated minor (not that they have to be emancipated in order to live with a specific parent).
Answer by cat0325 at 5:33 PM on Jan. 20, 2009
Answer by ReneeK3 at 6:29 PM on Jan. 20, 2009
They won't let a child decide, I don't think they do that anywhere. It's a popular belief for some reason that the kids can chose where they want to live but it doesn't work that way. The child can say who they want to live with, and the judge will take it into consideration, but if the other parent is safe, and capable of taking care of the child they won't exclude that parent. There is no way a court would leave that kind of a decision up to a child, kids are too easy to sway, they will say things they think other people want to hear, and they will say things because they don't want to hurt one parent or the other.
Answer by MomOfJandM at 8:11 PM on Jan. 20, 2009
Answer by CarolynBarnett at 9:28 PM on Jan. 20, 2009
Answer by Gigi1969 at 2:45 AM on Jan. 21, 2009
Answer by xmasbaby73 at 5:10 PM on Jan. 21, 2009
CarolynBarnett: Apparently the judge took your feelings into "consideration". Just because a child expresses their feelings, doesn't make it a law. The judge didn't have to take your mothers parental rights away BY LAW. He took them away, because he took your feelings into consideration. By Law, if a persons parental rights are revoked, it's because they have been proven to be an unfit parent. If she was proven to be unfit, your sister wouldn't have been sent to her either. So, your feelings were put into the consideration of the judge and in his personal opinion you were better off without her. But it wasn't a Law that got you away from her...
Answer by MomOfJandM at 5:26 PM on Jan. 21, 2009
http://www.kinardlawfirm.com/CM/Custom/Myths.asp#11 Link to "Family Law Legal Myths" Tells how the child's opinion is taken into consideration, but a Guardian Ad Litem is appointed to speak with the child first, to make sure it's what they really want, and help determine what's best for the child.
Answer by MomOfJandM at 5:32 PM on Jan. 21, 2009
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