• Thomas Hughes, Attorney at Law

In the "best interest of the child"?


QUESTION: In Alabama, how old does a child have to be to decide or choose if they want to live with their mother or father?

ANSWER: Pursuant to Alabama law, there is no age that a child gets to choose where he lives. Some states will let a child to choose if he is 12 years old, or 14 years old. However, Alabama is a “best interest of the child” state. What does this mean exactly?

Pursuant to Alabama law, there is no age that a child gets to choose where he lives. Some states will let a child to choose if he is 12 years old, or 14 years old. However, Alabama is a “best interest of the child” state. This means that the Judge considers all evidence and all testimony—including the testimony of the child—to ultimately decide what is in the child’s best interest. In other words, a child can testify in court, and tell the Judge his wishes, but his testimony is not worth any more than any other witness.

Several years ago, our firm handled a custody case with three (3) teenage boys age 16, 14, and 12 respectively. They each testified in court that they wanted to live with their dad. The older two boys were well-coached and said all the right things. The 12-year old was overly honest and testified that “Dad doesn’t make us do our homework; we don’t have a bedtime at Dad’s house; Dad lets us drink beer with him when we go fishing; and Dad promised us he’d get us each a 4-wheeler if we said we wanted to live with him.” Needless to say, the Judge ruled that the children’s best interest was to be with their mother.

Our firm handles child custody cases every day. Call us at 251-968-2320 for your free consultation.

#childvisitation #childcustody #childsupport #rightsofminors #parentalrights #legalservices

© 2015 The Powell Law Firm, P.C.

PO Box 4227
Gulf Shores, AL 36547
Phone: 251-968-2320
Fax: 251-968-2322
office@thepowelllawfirmpc.com
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