At what age may a child decide where they want to live in Murfreesboro, TN?

We are often asked, “At what age may a child decide where they want to live?” When asked that question, I often ask the parent, “at what age do you let the child decide whether or not they go to school, what time they come home, where they go…..” Or I will ask that parent, “Don’t you think if children were able to pick where they live, they would pick the parent that lets them run wild?”

Visitation and a parenting schedule is one of, if not the most critical decision of a child’s life. Do you really think or want a judge to allow a 14, 15, 16 year old make that decision? The answer is a child cannot chose where they live until they are 18 years of age (the age of majority). Until a child becomes an adult they may not decide on their own which parent to live with after divorce.In Tennessee, if a child is 12 years of age or older the judge can hear testimony from the child regarding the preference of the child. However the judge is under no obligation order the preference of the child. The preference of the child is merely one factor that the judge will consider in awarding custody to the primary residential parent. The main consideration that the Rutherford County judge uses to determine custody is the best interest of the child.Please call the law firm of J. Leo Richardson, III at 615.796.6093 for an appointment or use the form on this page for your free case evaluation.