Legal Question in Family Law in California

My kids are 15 and 10 can they choose where they want to Iive with when I file my divorce

Asked on 10/19/13, 6:00 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

B. Stuart Walker Law Office of B. Stuart Walker
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They can choose; but it won't be binding unless both you and your spouse agree to abide by their decision and obtain a stipulation and order signed by both of you, with a judges signature ordering it (judges signature usually automatic if both parents agree). Otherwise, children's preference is just one of the factors considered by the court when awarding custody. The age and maturity of the children are taken into account in the decision, if brought to the attention of the court through proper means. A child over the age of 14 has additional rights to be heard. (although not necessarily through direct testimony - could be minor's counsel or evaluation). You should know that frequent and continuing contact with both parents is the policy of the courts. So, even if the children mainly live with one parent, the court prefers to order substantial visitation to the other parent

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10/19/13, 9:45 pm

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