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Legal Information: Georgia


October 31, 2023

At what age can my child decide who s/he wants to live with?

In cases involving children who are 14 years old or older, the child will have the right to select which parent s/he wants to live with. The child’s choice will be honored unless the judge determines it is not in the child’s best interest. If your custody order was decided before your child turned 14, you may be able to modify your custody order based on your child’s preference once s/he turns 14. So, for example, if you lost custody of your child when the child was 10 and now that your child is 14, s/he wants to live with you, you can file a petition to modify the custody order based on your child’s preference. If the judge believes it is in the child’s best interest to live with you, the judge might modify (change) the custody order.1

In cases where the child is between the ages of 11-13, the judge will consider who the child wants to live with; however, the judge will not necessarily honor this preference.2

1 O.C.G.A. § 19-9-3(a)(5)
2 O.C.G.A. § 19-9-3(a)(6)