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Can a 16 year old decide which parent he wants to live with?

Commack, NY |

A father was given a full custody of an 11 year old. Once that child turns 16, can he choose to live with his mother instead? Can the custody be reversed based on child's wishes only?

Attorney Answers 1


  1. No. The legal standard used by the Court is "best interest of the child." If the father has physical, or residential custody of the child, the Court may consider the child's wishes in connection to an application for a change in custody. However, the child's wishes will only be considered in connection to a variety of other factors which will also be closely examined, such as educational, emotional, health, etc. I strongly recommend that you promptly contact a family law attorney to discuss this matter further.