At what age in NY State can a child decide which parent he/she will live with?

Asked about 5 years ago - Le Roy, NY

What age does a child have to be in NY State to make the decision as to which parent he/she will live with?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Ronald Anthony Sarno

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . NY courts are not to happy with having a child play one parent against another. If you believe the child will function better in your home than with the ex, I recommend getting a mental health evaluation of the child and having the expert determine where the child will do best, and then have that person write to the court in support of the motion to change custody. Some judges will let the child discuss his view (usually in private in chambers), but judges get very upset if they believe the child has been programmed to bad mouth the other parent.
    You might find my legal guide on Is it Legal? Is it Illegal? helpful.
    You might find my legal guide on the understanding the different court systems helpful.
    You might find my legal guide on legal terms used in litigation helpful
    (Even if you are not filing a lawsuit this information can be useful).

    You might find my legal guide on the court systems in NYC helpful.


    You might find Gabriel Cheong’s legal guide on the do and don’t of finances after a divorce helpful.
    You might find my legal guide on divorce in general and in NJ helpful.
    (Much of this information is valid for unmarrieds who have children together).

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER
    Mr. Sarno is licensed to practice law in NJ and NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. Sarno strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their own state to acquire more information about this issue.

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