How old does a child have to be ?

How old does a child have to be ?

Posted in the Springfield Forum


Bloomfield, MO

#1 May 7, 2013
How old does my daughters have to be to decide to live with me instead of their mom ?The divorce was 10 yrs. ago and at that time she had 4 little kids with her .Soon it will be just my two girls and I have remarried.
Not positive

Bolivar, MO

#2 May 7, 2013
Dad wrote:
How old does my daughters have to be to decide to live with me instead of their mom ?The divorce was 10 yrs. ago and at that time she had 4 little kids with her .Soon it will be just my two girls and I have remarried.
I believe in the state of Missouri they take the child's input at age 12. Ultimately the court will have to decide based on the safety, living conditions, etc but as long as everything is good there then they will also listen to the child. It might be 14. It varies state to state.

Ridgedale, MO

#3 May 8, 2013
The desire of the child is a factor in determining custody, but it's not the driving force.

Normally, the court must first find if there has been a substantial change in circumstance that would warrant a change in custody. If that hurdle is cleared, then the court will consider many factors in determining if custody should change. The child's desire is only one of those many factors.

If your daughters have lived with their mother for their entire lives, unless there is a very good reason to change custody, I don't see the court doing that even if that's what the girls want.

If you want to pursue it and your ex wife contests it, plan on spending $5000 or more to your attorney, and if you lose, you might have to pay her attorney's fees too.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#4 May 9, 2013
I tried that when my kid was 13 wanting to live with me, and there has to be a good damn reason to sway a judge. Like the mother is convicted of physical abuse or is a proven drug addict. Hearsay won't do it... the judge would most likely come down on you.

The child's opinion in this Missouri county has no value in this. People who think it does is dreaming.

If the mother doesn't agree, you can spend thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars like I did and STILL not get full custody no matter what the kid wants.

There's good reason for that too. Kids would be dictating custody arrangements.

My kid is 21 now and my ex, my kid, and me are all great friends. We put that era behind us.

17 seems to be the age they can chose and parents have no recourse. Of course at 18 they are adults.

Bloomfield, MO

#5 May 10, 2013
The girls now 12 and 13 have only lived in 2 homes, their mom and ours.We all live in the same small town.Their school,church ,friends and family are here. Their mom's new boy friend uses my girls as baby sitters for his 4 yr. old.It looks like he wants to leave the state and he is in the Army.Once she leaves this town she will never come back here to live.She has at times made it difficult to see my kids,the first couple of yrs. were hell .She done the same to the dads of her other kids as well.Our home is close to being paid off so the money is not a problem.I could say terrible things about her but keep everything from the girls.They love each of us.Recently she has been telling the girls hat they do not have to do as I tell them because they live with her.

Ridgedale, MO

#6 May 10, 2013

Again, the court must first find that there has been a substantial change in circumstance that warrants a change in custody. That's a very high legal hurdle.

The fact that your daughters babysit for their mom's boyfriend or that he's in the Army is not a substantial change in circumstance.

Your ex-wife is not married to him, so any circumstances in his life (such as he may be required to relocate) are immaterial.

Save yourself a whole lot of money and a lot of stress and just accept the fact that divorce causes much unpleasantness for all concerned, including you, your ex-wife, and your children.

You may want to examine your divorce decree, particularly the child custody and visitation section. She may be prohibited from removing the children from the state without a modification of the original order. Of course that won't prevent her from moving somewhere else in the state.

Bloomfield, MO

#7 May 11, 2013
Could I have the order modified too have both of the girls spend halve time with her ?It could every other week etc..How would that not be in the best interest of our kids?

Bloomfield, MO

#8 Jun 12, 2013
My wife and I saw a very good lawyer,his reputation is that if it can be done he can do it.His advice is that unless both parents agree it can not be done.And it is bad for the kids ,moving from home to home.The good news is that a judge would take into consideration how the kids feel.And would consider that one parent may offer a bribe ect. too entice the child.The best thing to come from this is I know now that the time I have with them is growing shorter as they become older.And will make the most of it.

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