A 12 year old girl currently living with her Mother wants to stay with her Mother in the event the Father wants to try to take them away.
Is there a court order giving him custody or visitation rights.
If not, he has zero rights to take her.
If there is a court order, he can petition for change of custody.
The judge will then take into account everything, including her wishes, in deciding custody and visitation.
Family Law Attorney
If there is no custody order or agreement the Father cannot take the child. However, if you are trying to determine visitation and are in the middle of court proceedings a Judge will take a 12 year old's opinion into consideration.
This answer is for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I disagree partially, simply due to the fact that we do not have enough information about the parents. Are the parents married and simply living apart? If so the father has the same rights as the mother, if there is not a court order stating otherwise. Same as if the father has previously found to be the legal father and there is no court order giving custody to the mother. To answer your question though, there is not a magically age in which the child can decide who to live with. At age 14, the judge will take their desires into consideration, along with the other factors in determining what is in the best interest of the child.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
A12 year old cannot make this decision.
Should the father attempt to gain custody the judge will decide based on a best interest of child standard.
the answer to the question is age 18. if dad wants the child, he must file a petition to get custody. the burden may be different if the parents were never married or if married and then divorced. if there is an existing custody order favoring mom, then dad must show a substantial change in circumstances.