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What rights do I have as a custodial parent when my children turn 12 and choose between parents?

Austin, TX |

My ex husband has a lengthy criminal record from traffic violations with failure to appears all the way to prison for assault and robbery. No family violence (at least there was none reported) we have three children together. Oldest 10 yrs will be 11 in Aug and twins 9, 10 in Nov. He has been discussing ALOT lately with the kids about choosing to live with him when they r 12. It is stressing the kids out because they feel it will hurt whichever parent they dont choose. I have told them I will love them regardless. But if and when we go to court when they turn 12, do I have any fight in this matter? I am remarried and my husband works as a corrections officer for TJJD (State of Texas) and I work full time with aTBC charge from 2008... I dont want my kids to go live with my ex.

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Attorney answers 3


He's misinformed. The 12 year old gets to express an opinion in certain circumstances but does not get to choose.

This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.


Kids don't get to choose and switch. They are with you until a court orders otherwise. The court may hear the kids opinion if it so chooses. Start looking around for a lawyer you might want to use should he try something and do NOT let him bully you with misinformation.



Ok. My ex is making it seem as though if the kids chose to live with him that is that and there isnt anything a lawyer or a judge can do about it. As a matter of fact he told me this morning "you might as well not get a lawyer, they are going to choose me and you will just waste your money"! I told him "Money is no object, they are my children and I will fight for them till the day I die"!


Kids have a say, but do not get to decide where they live. Get a lawyer today - do not wait for him to file a modification. The lawyer can help you with a plan in advance to help your case. You will be ready for court - and he will not.

Good luck.

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