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  • Children's age to decide where they live

    In a previous post (domestic violence), I describe what I now think is a scaring tactic from my ex. I don't know what his motivation might be as we have an agreement signed. I want to try and think of all possibilities to be as ready as possible.

    We have 2 children, 12 and 9 years old. They both live with me and see their dad every other weekend. Since the separation, my ex has been threatening of moving to another city for his work. In fact, he asked for the clause preventing him from moving away be taken out of the agreement before he signed it. My lawyer removed it asnd specifically said that the kids would stay with me if my ex decided to move somewhere else. My worry now is that my ex might try to entice the kids to move away with him, or at least my oldest. At 12, I think judges would take a child's opinion in making the decision. I can't imagine seeing my children only a few times a year. What are the possibilities of this happening?

    I search the forum but did not find any information on custody for children that age.

  • #2
    Originally posted by scared View Post
    We have 2 children, 12 and 9 years old. They both live with me and see their dad every other weekend.

    At 12, I think judges would take a child's opinion in making the decision. I can't imagine seeing my children only a few times a year. What are the possibilities of this happening?
    It is true that a child of 12 can have their views represented in court via a child advocate lawyer. Since the children have resided with you for the entire time it would be very difficult if not impossible for that to change.
    No need to get worked up, do a little reading on a few case laws to see how judges have ruled based on various situations, preferable relative to yours so that you have a clear understanding on what they factor in etc.

    Best of luck.
    BTW, that feeling of only getting to see your kids a few times a year?
    That's how ALOT of parent feel as they have no other option. I wish everyone could feel that fear, maybe there would not be so many vindictive ex's using the kids as tools.

    Sorry I got side tracked!

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    • #3
      where can I find case laws?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by scared View Post
        where can I find case laws?
        CanLII - Advanced Search

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        • #5
          If the child - whether of their own accord or via coersion from the NC parent - wanted to switch residences, under what circumstances would they usually allow this? Will the courts simply ignore the desires of the children to maintain the status quo? I'm referring to cases which do NOT involve abuse or neglect or any such reason... simply if the child wants to switch.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by About_Time View Post
            If the child - whether of their own accord or via coersion from the NC parent - wanted to switch residences, under what circumstances would they usually allow this? Will the courts simply ignore the desires of the children to maintain the status quo?
            Good questions. They would have to be considered and evaluated in light of all the circumstances.
            Last edited by dadtotheend; 01-22-2009, 01:50 AM.

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            • #7
              I would find it hard to believe that a court would simply allow a change because a 12 year old wanted it. They would have to apply the best interests test, couple in how this affects other siblings, the noncustodial parent, and how each parent facilitates access to the other parent and their parenting styles etc.
              Although children of 12 or older can submit their preferences, the courts take those preferences into consideration and apply any possible ramification that the child is unable to determine or understand. Children live in the now, and rarely have the ability to conclude long-term results.

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              • #8
                FL is right on the money, as usual. That said, once kids get to 15 or 16, the courts can be very reluctant to order them to stay where they don't want to, even if that was the status quo. I think there's an example or two of that on this site.

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