Typically, the older the child is, the more weight the court will give the child's testimony. However, what the child wants is still only a part of the equation. The court must made decisions which reflect the best interests of the child, regardless of what the child thinks is best. Child custody and visitation is ultimately an adult decision.
Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on. Each state has different laws, and each situation is fact specific. Without an in depth consultation and analysis of all relevant facts and evidence, it is impossible to fully evaluate a legal problem. This answer is not intended to, and does not, create an attorney-client relationship.
A 15 year old will get a voice, but cannot join the Circus just because it seems like a cool idea. The totality of the situation, including abuse/neglect/friends/relatives/supervision and all the other parent considerations will be weighed against the child's desire.
I represent Employers, but I can recommend Worker Attorneys in So Cal if you ask.
Since your child is over the age of 14, the child gets more of a preference of where he/she wants to go. However, the court will look to the best interest of the child when dealing with a modification request for order. Extremely stubborn and defiant children can really cause problems with custody orders. The court may continue the mediation date and the court date, especially if the travel schedule was not known until after the date was set.
You really need to consult with a child custody attorney.
This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. This means that I am not your lawyer and I will not appear in court simply by posting on this site. If you would like me to represent you, you must call my office, sign a written fee agreement and pay a legal fee, assuming I do not have a conflict of interest and you are in Southern California. If I respond to your question and you have follow up questions by posting on this site, I may or may not reply. This information should not be construed as legal advice. I am offering my opinion. Each person's case is unique, and that's why you should contact a lawyer over the phone for a consultation for your situation. That's why you should not rely on any response that an attorney posts on this site. I am licensed in California. I am not licensed in another state or country. I do not practice law outside of California.
A child of that age is given a lot of power to decide where they wish to live. Hopefully mediation will be able to determine what is going in in this case but is unlikely that the mediation through e court system have the time to make the collateral contacts to all of the parties that seem to be involved in this situation to get to the bottom of everything You may be better served by getting a full custody evaluation of all involved where there is more time given to address what is going on. Even with more time, if the determination is to leave custody as is, it may be impossible to force a teenage to live where they choose not to live.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Sign up to receive a 5-part series of useful information and advice about child custody law.