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.
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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.
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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.
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