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Can A Child Choose Which Parent to Live With?

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In this video I talk about how much weight does a a child's wishes play in a custody case. Can they choose which parent to live with once they reach a certain age?

This is one of most asked questions I receive as a divorce and custody attorney. Can a child choose custody?

Most people think that once a child reaches a certain age, say 12, 13, 14, 15 or 18 they can make that call, and that's just not the case. However, a child's wishes is one factor the judge will take a look at when deciding which parent will get full custody of the child.

But the child's wishes, alone, does not determine where the child lives. A judge is required to look at all of the other best interest factors and how they interplay with what the child wants.

So, how old does a child have to be before a judge will consider what the child wants. The answer is not a one size fits all answer. Really what the answer is when a child is a sufficient maturity to express what he or she wants. Different judges have...

Mother's Rights vs. Father's Rights

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When it comes to deciding custody of a child there's an urban myth that we live in a mothers rights world, however I can tell you that is not the case.

Judges attitudes are becoming more progressive and what judges are now looking at is what is in the best interest of the children.

So if you are a mother who is fighting for custody of your child don’t get too overconfident and assume that since you are the mom the judge will award your custody or parenting time because that is not the case.

And if you are a father don’t automatically get discouraged and despair that since you are the father that you will not get custody or parenting time because that is not the case either.

Both mother and father still have to prove their case to the judge.

Don't Lose Custody Over a Lying Spouse

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In a custody battle it doesn't really matter if what is being said about you is true or not; what matters is whether the court believes it's true.

He Said vs. She Said or it could be She Said vs. She Said or He Said vs. He Said. In these type of cases it really boils down to what person is saying vs. what the other person is saying during the custody hearing and who the judge or jury is going to believe.In a child custody battle there is the potential for un-truths. In every family law case that goes to trial credibility of that witness is the issue. So what credibility means is how reliable is each witness and there are a lot of things that the judge or trier of fact can look at when deciding whether or not to believe a witness.

Here is a list of some things the court will look at:

1. The person's manner when testifying meaning are they acting nervous, are they pausing a lot before answering certain questions? Do they start crying or are they sweating...These things can be...

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