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What is the legal age of consent in the state of Ohio for a child to decide which parent he or she wants to live with?

Milford, OH |

My son is going on twelve and this last visit he has informed me that his grandfather has verbally abused and threatened him. He is distraught and he suffers from ADHD and ODD. When he lived with me I had him seeing a medical professional and on medication as well as a counselor. Now that he is not living with me, his father has not taken him to counseling and keeps getting his medication changed. I do fear that this is having a mental affect on our child and that if I take his father to court, then his father will try to make me look bad or fight me tooth and nail for him. All I want is what is best for our son's well-being. What is best for him in the long run. Thank You, Rachel

Attorney Answers 3


As a guardian ad litem, I would take into account what an intelligent 12 year old had to say. It would not be my only factor of consideration. If your main concern is medication, you don't have to change custody. Instead you can file to get an order that dad comply with the medical advise of the child's doctor. Be prepared to present lots of expert testimony.

This answer is provided for general purposes only. If you need legal assistance you should consult with an attorney. Responding to questions DOES NOT create an attorney-client relationship.

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Deborah Zaccaro Hoffman

Deborah Zaccaro Hoffman


I can't figure out why this question keeps coming up when the law changed in 1991.


There is no legal age in the State of Ohio. The court will consider the child's wishes, but it will not be controlling. There are numerous factors the court will consider. You need to obtain an experienced custody attorney to guide you through this.

Attorney Sternberg is admitted to the practice of law only in the State of Ohio. His answering of this question does not constitute an attorney client relationship, nor can his answer be relied on since the question does not permit Attorney Sternberg to seek additional information necessary to render an legal opinion.

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There is no age that is set in stone, but the older and more mature a child is, the more the court will factor in his or her opinion in deciding the best interests of a child.

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