When Can a Child Decide Which Parent to Live with in Oregon?

Dad and daughter in Portland, OR

At What Age Can a Child Decide Which Parent To Live With?

In general, a child cannot legally decide which parent to live with unless they are emancipated or reach the age of majority, that being 18 years old in most states. After children have become adults with legal decision-making power, they have the right to choose which parent they want to live with.

Can A 16-Year-Old or Minor Choose Which Parent to Live With? 

However, let us assume that parties in a divorce are dealing with a custody and parenting time dispute related to a 16-year-old child. The parties (through counsel) can formulate a parenting plan that says, for example, that the parties intend on following a set schedule, but that they recognize and appreciate the age of the child and will allow the child to dictate their schedule.

In this example, issues can arise related to enforcement of the parenting time schedule, but nevertheless, it is a plan that allows for a teenager to dictate which parent they want to be with.

Another option is hiring an attorney for the minor. In Oregon, courts do not want children to testify in a dispute between parents. An attorney for the child will allow the court to understand the child’s position, without needing the child to testify.

How Can An Attorney Help You?

An attorney will be able to help you and provide you with the emotional reassurance and support that you need during this difficult time.

A child custody attorney can:

  • Help advise you on legal matters regarding child custody
  • Answer all of your questions regarding your situation
  • Effectively represent you in family court
  • Provide you with the emotional support and reassurance that you need during this stressful time
  • Negotiate a custody agreement that takes the child's best interests into strong account
  • Help grandparents seeking legal custody
  • Effectively prepare for defense against requested changes
  • Help you with legal visitation matters

It is strongly advised to call an experienced Portland attorney to discuss issues related to child custody, and/or other family matters. Give Levine Law Center a call or contact us online to schedule a time to discuss any issues.

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