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At what age should a child be allowed

to choose who he or she wants to live with?

I ask because as children you tend to want to be with who allows more freedom with friends, video games, junk food, television, cell phone, and hanging with friends and sleep overs at friends. Some parents/grandparents are not very structured or lay down the rules as heavy or not at all!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 2:19 PM on Sep. 3, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (10)
  • I would say 12.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:20 PM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • I agree op, some kids do not choose the best parent when their say 12 years old.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:24 PM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • as long as kids do good in school, i think they should be allowed those privlages, especially now while they can be a kid, before its too late. and if you didnt let me do those things, i wouldnt want to live with you either. im not sure what age they should be allowed to choose. depends on the situation.

    Answer by PURPULbutterfly at 2:26 PM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • I think their input always matters, but I think it's important for the parents and courts to take into account that children and even teens don't always realize what is in their best interests. I know plenty of 12 yr olds and teens who would still choose the permissive parent over the one with more rules and structure even though it's not in their best interests. I think it is as important for the parents and courts to listen to WHY the child or teen feels this way and make the decision that is in their best interest even if it is not what they say they want.


    Answer by riotgrrl at 2:29 PM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • I was 12 or 13 when I decided to go live with my father. I first went to spend 2 weeks with him in the summer, well that tuned into a month and then I said I wanted to live with my dad and step mom full time. I was able to properly explain myself at that age so I think 12 013 is a good age to be able to decide.

    Answer by melliesmom1207 at 2:30 PM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • I would say when they are able to clearly explain why they want to live with that parent or guardian. And of course, "Because mom lets me text all I want and stay out late and dad is too strict" isn't a good reason, but that's why the courts help with that decision.

    Answer by canadianmom1974 at 2:33 PM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • I don't think that children that young can make an informed decision that can alter who they become. I think that two adults need to put the child's best interest ahead of their and act accordingly in a civilize matter.

    Answer by bebita at 2:35 PM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • If it's a custody issue, then you should check with you county clerk's office. In my state the child has a say in the matter at 14.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:20 PM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • I think the kid should probably always have some say- in that they are asked what they want and its taken into consideration. But I think legal custody and what the courts decide should almost always trump that for the reasons you said. If the kid had good reasons, the court is going to take that into greater consideration so hopefully nobody gets burned. Parents should also work past their issues to give thier kid consistant expectations, though I know that isn't going to happen for most.

    Answer by mrs_pulley at 3:27 PM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • I am a grandparent and I have many more rules and much more structure for my grandchildren that their parents do. They are afraid to hurt their feelings and afraid to have structure and boundaries. Kids have to know what is expected of them. They need an early bedtime when they are in school. They need a good breakfast. They need to hear "NO". They hve to be home at night. They need permission to spend time with friends and I have to know the parents of ther friends.It was the way I was raised. I am not anticipating any custody issues in our family --everyone is happily married --, but I bet I'd be a good substitute parent.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:35 PM on Sep. 3, 2009

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