What age in Washington state can a child choose what parent they want to live with??

Asked over 2 years ago - Bothell, WA

Child will be 13 soon and dad has decided to forfeit visitation until further notice. What do I do?? I find it ridiculous he can have a "selfish phase" whenever he wants, but I'm sitting here fearing "contempt" charges if I don't bring the child down. HELP!!

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Dave Hawkins

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 18.

    It is a common misperception that children in Wa. state have a right to choose with which parent they want to live -- THAT RIGHT DOES NOT EXIST. Child custody issues are solely within the province of a Judge and the child's parents. Children are never allowed to dictate in Wa. courts as to what they want in domestic relations matters. A child may tell a guardian ad litem or parenting evaluator with whom they would prefer to live, and that evaluator may then advise the court of the same, but the court is not obliged to accede to that request -- children do not have that power in Wa. state. They are subject to the courts order as to what is in their best interest. Somehow, somewhere , the notion that children can choose seeped into the public zeitgeist if you will, but it has never been the law in Wa. that children can choose. It's a good lesson to learn: do not listen to individuals who are not licensed to practice law because as the saying goes -- bad advice is always free.

    The information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for... more
  2. Frances Turean

    Contributor Level 16

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The child can choose when they turn 18 and become an adult. It is up to you as the parent to modify the parenting plan. If he wants to forfeit his visitation you might want to get it in writing (email or letter).

  3. Peggy Margaret Raddatz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with attorney Hawkins. The court may talk to the child but ultimately the court makes all the custody decisions.

    IF YOU FOUND THIS ANSWER "Helpful" or " The Best Answer" YOU CAN THANK ATTORNEY RADDATZ BY MARKING IT SO... more

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