Yes, the Tennessee statutes on child custody allow the judge who is hearing the matter take a child's preference into accout when the child is 12 years old. More weight is given to an older child but the court can her your daughter's preference. Having an attorney represent you would definitely be beneficial.
The court will consider your child's preference at the age of 13. I would strongly suggest that you seek local counsel to assist you with your custody issue. Good luck.
Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.
Get a lawyer! I agree with the other answers. Just because your daughter is over 12 (the age when the judge can take her preference into consideration) does not mean that a judge will defer his judgment to your daughter. There are other factors, and a lawyer is your ticket to making sure that you have the best chance, at trial on this issue or on appeal. Hire a lawyer (I can't say this adamantly enough!!!)
If any answer on AVVO helps you, mine or someone else’s, please mark it as "helpful" or "best answer" to help AVVO know which answers to show others. Thank you. This response may provide information relating to potential legal issues. Nevertheless, your review of any information contained herein is not a substitute for legal advice from qualified legal counsel. For this reason, you should not rely on this response as a source of legal advice. Your use of this information does not create any attorney-client agreement. In order to become a client of David C. Lee, you must negotiate a specific attorney–client agreement with an attorney from this law office.
Sign up to receive a 5-part series of useful information and advice about child custody law.