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Can my child make their own custody decisions?

If you have a child, you will know that they are often very opinionated regarding their preferences, and they tend to become increasingly so as they grow older. While these preferences might center on what they like to eat and when they like to sleep as young children, they may gain opinions about which parent they would like to spend more time with earlier than expected.

If your child is stating preferences regarding their visitation, you may wonder if they have the right to enforce their own schedule. This depends on several factors in the state of Tennessee, and your likelihood of coming to an agreement will probably rest on how well you are able to communicate with the other parent.

What does the law say in the state of Tennessee?

From a legal perspective, a child is never able to legally decide upon the visitation setup that they would prefer. However, from the age of 12, the courts must consider the wishes of the child in question when determining a custody decision.

This is the minimum legal requirement of the courts, however. In many cases, the courts deem it appropriate to allow children of a younger age to make statements about their preferences or talk about their experiences in either household. The court will decide whether this is appropriate based on the maturity level of the child.

If you want to help your child to stand up for their own personal wishes, you may want to read more about child custody in the state of Tennessee and take action when appropriate.

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