i was wondering about the new law [153.009] about a child under 12 choosing where to live, according to the circumstances at home. how does this work?
1 Answer from Attorneys
No child of ANY age gets to choose where to live. If asked, the judge MUST interview a child of at least 12 in chambers, but does not have to follow the child's wishes or even ask where the child wants to live. A judge MAY interview a child of less than 12, but does not have to.
You should be aware that many judges do not like to do this and some even think that it is abusive to the child to make him or her do this. A parent should be very cautious before asking a judge to do this. If the judge believs that the child has been threatened, brided or brainwashed to say certain things then it could go very bad for the parent doing this. I am board certified in family law and I have only done this once. And, yes, I regretted it.
If you have a case where this is an issue, you should make sure that you have a very good attorney.