One of the questions is that parents who are divorced or in the process of divorcing ask themselves the age at which the children can decide whom they want to live with or live in a Tulsa child custody attorney. It is recommended that parents make the right decision, taking into account the needs of their children and their possibilities of attention to them.
Can my son decide whom he wants to live with after the divorce?
If your child is of legal age, the answer is YES, even if they do not have financial independence.
In marriage proceedings, children of legal age can decide which parent they want to live with.
However, the Judge will agree on the measures related to alimony, use of housing, etc. until you are financially independent.
In any case, the adult must express before the Judge his desire to live with one or the other of the parents.
Now, if your children are minors, the answer is NO, they cannot decide whom to live with.
In the process of divorce or modification of judicial measures, it will be the Judge who decides the guardianship and custody of the minors, with attention to the principle of the best interest of the minor.
However, minors have the right to be heard at trial, through the proof of judicial exploration of minors.
Can the minor child be heard in the event of a divorce?
YES, the minor child has the right to be heard, according to his maturity and age, in legal proceedings that affect his guardianship and custody.
The Family Judge shall ensure compliance with this right of the minor to be heard when measures regarding their custody, care, and education are decided.
This right is practiced through the judicial exploration test, which consists of a conversation between the Judge and the minor, in the exclusive presence of the Prosecutor.
The judicial exploration is usually completed with an expert report from the Judicial Psychosocial Team.
At what age can my minor child be heard in court?
Although, as we have told you, your minor child cannot decide which of the parents he wants to live with, he must be heard in the marriage process:
In any case, if you are over 12 years old. In other words, by legal imposition, minors who are 12 years of age or older must be heard by the Judge.
When the minor has sufficient judgment. If she is under 12 years of age but mature enough to express her desire, a judicial examination may be proposed. It will be the Judge who will assess whether the minor has sufficient capacity or maturity to decide if she wants to live with his father or with her mother. In reality, there is no age limit for the minor to be heard, it will suffice for him to have sufficient capacity and maturity.
In short, the minor will be heard but the final decision will be made by the Judge, following a report from the Public Prosecutor.