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How old do you have to be to choose which parent you want to live with

Warren, MI |

I am 13 years old and i live with my mom but i would like to go live with my dad but my mom wont let me i think im ready to choose who i wanna live with i mean what's the big deal. My mom says i have to be 14 in order to choose who i wanna stay with and my dad says you have to be 13.


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Attorney answers 2


In Michigan, a child (minor under age 18) cannot choose where he or she wants to live. However, if your father files a motion with the court for a change of the current custody order the Judge can take where you want to live into consideration. Ultimately, the Judge will consider many factors and make a decision based on your best interests (even if it's not the parent you want to live with). Otherwise, kids would just always pick the parent that doesn't have any rules even though that is not best for them.

Your father should consult an attorney if he wants to file for a change of custody. He will be required to show that there has been a change in circumstances since the prior custody order and that the new custody arrangement is in your best interest.

DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided as general information, which may not be appropriate for the specific facts of your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship has been established based on this limited communication. You are advised to consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction before taking any action or inaction that may affect your legal rights.


Both of your parents are wrong. Where you want to live may or may not factor into a consideration of what the Court views are your "best interests." Courts can, but do not have to, ask you your preference. There are many factors Courts look at to determine which parent has primary physical custody, or joint physical custody. In my experience, and unfortunately for you, a child's preference is not a particularly compelling reason for a change in custody. If your Father files a Motion for a change in custody, the Court may indeed ask your preference but does not give that any greater weight than any other factor in the analysis.

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