In Vermont how old do I have to be to decide which parent to live with?

Asked almost 5 years ago - Burlington, VT

My parents just got divorced and I'd really like to spend my time wioht my father

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . The judge will decide. There is no magic age when children get to decide custody. The best interest of the child is the standard.

    The law regarding a child's 'right'* to choose is a matter for each State and jurisdiction. The judge in most States, not the child, makes the decision based on the best interest of the child. Although not a standard by any means, many States have begun to give 'consideration' to a child's declaration of custodial preference when the child reaches the age of twelve or thirteen, sometimes fourteen. There are even cases when children of age 9 are allowed to testify.

    The judge is normally given almost unlimited latitude in whether or not she or he listens to a child and how much weight to give to the child's wishes. In short, there is no specific "age" but the younger the child the less likely for a judge to give the stated preference much weight.

    Good luck to you.

    NOTE: This answer is made available by the out-of-state lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding.

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