There is no such magic age recognized in the law. 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.Ask a similar question
Matters of custody and visitation are determined by analyzing the "best interest of the child" factors at Va. Code 20-124.3. Factor 8 says, "The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference." So, there is not required age for a child to express his or her preference. It is a matter of how much weight to give the preference. Also, there are 9 other factors.
However, the bigger challenge will be for you as grandparents to overcome any objection from the parents. Va. Code 20-124.2(B) says in part, "The court shall give due regard to the primacy of the parent-child relationship but may upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the best interest of the child would be served thereby award custody or visitation to any other person with a legitimate interest."
The court typically requires proof by a preponderance of the evidence. As a third party, you would have the higher, clear and convincing, burden of proof.Ask a similar question
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