Children and the Law
Emancipation and Ages for Moving Out

How old does a child have to be to decide which parent they want to live with in West Virginia?

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February 03, 2007 12:50AM

Minor children are not allowed to make such decisions. If the child is old enough to comprehend the situation the judge may ask him certain questions concerning his present living situation, school, friends, and so forth. The judge will not ask the child which parent he or she wishes to live with, as it is considered to place to large an emotional burden upon the child, and any child will usually choose the parent who is the most lenient. There are exceptions to the rule, if a child is an older teen the judge may order the parents and child to attend counseling sessions in an attempt to reach equitable solution to custody, rather than having it made by the court.