When may a child decide which parent they want to live with?

When may a child decide which parent they want to live with?

I am asked quite frequently “at what age may a child decide whom to live with after a divorce”. The answer is 18 (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 must hear testimony from the child (either in court or in chambers) as to the preference of the child. However the judge is under no obligation to place the child in their preferred home. 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 judge uses to determine custody is the best interest of the child. The preference of the child is only one consideration in determining what is in the best interest of the child.

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