Legal Question in Family Law in Tennessee

Custody Based on Child's Wishes

I currenty live in Arkansas and my child's mother lives in Tennessee. We were originally divorced in Arkansas but since the child lives in Tennessee and I have been taken back to court several times by the custodial mother Tennessee now has jurisdiction. My child is a 12 year old female who wishes to live with my current wife and myself. Her mother knows of these wishes but refused to relinquish custody. My question is two fold. One: If I were to take my ex-wife back to court would I have to file in Tennessee or in Arkansas? And two: is there a specfic age (in either state) where the child's wishes are considered to be binding and if so at what age. If the age is never binding is there a specfic age where the judge will more times than not abide by the child's wishes and change the custody? Thanks you for any help you can provide.

Asked on 6/30/03, 12:07 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Herb Southern The Southern Law Firm

Re: Custody Based on Child's Wishes

It depends. Unless she has taken you back to court in TN and noone objected and thus TN now has jurisdiction, then I think it is still in AR. Just depends.

As to age, "there ain't none!" The Court will generally listen to a child, but the final decision rests on the best interests of the child. The child's opinion is never binding on the Court for obvious reasons.

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Answered on 6/30/03, 1:09 pm


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