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At what age should siblings of the opposite sex separate rooms and have their own?

Houston, TX |

My son's mother has an older daughter and I just found out that my son is still having to share a room with her. The daughter is 9 and my son is 7. At what age should they be in their own separate rooms?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. There's just not going to be an "answer" for that. Some people feel one way on the subject, some feel another, and there's nothing wrong with either position--unless the judge says there is. Judges fall into both camps on this, and it would be likely to depend on the specifics of the situation. One prime consideration will probably be the REASON for them sharing a room. Is it a three bedromm house, but mom "needs" to have a workout room, or is it a two bedroom apartment mom can barely afford on a minimum wage salary? If the judge takes custody away in the latter situation, assuming the kids were actually doing just fine at mom's, that's penalizing her for no other reason than not being wealthy enough to afford three bedrooms. Kids sharing rooms, even older kids of opposite sexes, is not as unusual as you might think, and ultimately is probably not that big a deal. I myself had to share a room with my little brother for awhile when we moved to a two bedroom house when I was 11. I wasn't exactly thrilled with the situation, but it certainly didn't harm either of us.

    Maybe the best thing to do would be to simply talk to your son about how everything's going fr him living with his mom and sister. If your son is actually having problems with the room arrangement, then that of course might justify you doing something to change it, either by going to court or just talking to his mom. If you do go to vourt, the judge's view of things would realistically also depend on what sort of improvements you, as the father, could provide if your son came to live with you. Housing is far from the only consideration on that, so if you're thinking of taking this to court, please start by finding a good family law attorney who can help you represent your case to the court.

  2. In the State of Texas, there is no law that addresses this matter.

    It's nice if the children have separate bedrooms, but some families cannot afford to put children in separate bedrooms. A judge uses their common sense in this matter. If a family cannot afford to rent/own a residence that is large enough for everyone to have separate bedrooms but the children are well cared for then then the judge will not move them. The judge must look at the entire picture. A judge considers all facts regarding custody - in Texas it is "best interests of a child" and changing custody places the burden on the parent wanting to change custody to prove that that the parent that currently has custody that they have done something "wrong" in order to change the custody. Merely having the children in the same bedroom is not enough.

    I hope this information is helpful. If you need more information, then you need to consult with a family law attorney in person. There are many fine family law attorneys in the Houston area. Look on this website & meet with one. Good luck!

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