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Can kids decide where they want to live- when no custody order in place.. the ages are 14 and 15..? pa state

Pittsburgh, PA |

kids want to live with me.. they have been with their dad.. can they just up and decide they want to move in with me.. and there is no custody order in place
different counties in the pa state

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Attorney answers 3


If there is no Custody Order currently in place, each parent has the right to exercise custody at any time. However, if there is to be a significant change from what is the current, normal practice, you should consider filing a Complaint for Custody in the county in which the children currently primarily reside.

At ages 14 and 15, the preferences of the children are considered; but, they are not binding upon the Court. There are a total of 16 factors which the Court will consider, with the children's preferences being only 1 of those factors.

Many law firms who practice in Pittsburgh, including my own, offer free consultations. I would be happy to speak with you further regarding this matter.

Joe Hirschmann

The answer provided is for general information only. No attorney-client relationship has been formed. Please contact an attorney in your area for case-specific advice.


Mr. Hirschmann has given you very solid advice. No, children never get to decide where they want to live. they can express their views and, depending on many factors including the judge's perception of their maturity and their reasons behind their expressed wishes, what they say will be given appropriate consideration. The best thing you can do now, before you take any steps, is to have a consultation with an experienced family law attorney in your area.

Be sure to click Best Answer if you found this helpful. Disclaimer: Please note that this response does not in any way an attorney-client relationship between Kathryn L. Hilbush and the recipient. My responses are general in nature. They do not constitute legal advice. You are advised to consult an attorney regarding this and any other legal matters.


custody is a free for all if there is no order in place setting forth specific times and dates of custody. The courts don't let the children decide, but after age 14, their input is considered like all other evidence.

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