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How old do children have to be in Wa. State to decide which parent they live with?

Seattle, WA |

I believe my son wants to live with me. I have heard three different ages that they can talk to the court. 13, 14, 16. Is there a designated age or is it case by case?

Attorney Answers 1

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There is no specific age at which a minor can decide where to live or whether to talk to the court.

RCW 26.09.187 contains the nonexclusive criteria for establishing permanent parenting plan. Among the criteria is "(vi) The wishes of the parents and the wishes of a child who is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to his or her residential schedule;" The statutes are at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=26.09 .

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