There is an age at which minor children can legally choose the parent with whom they will live.
One of the most widely circulated urban legends that I encounter in the practice of divorce law is that there is an age at which minor children can legally choose the parent with whom they will reside. I have heard ages 12, 14 and 16 regularly. In fact, there is no age at which a minor has a legal right to choose. Once a child reaches the age of 18 he or she is no longer a child and therefore, at that time, has a choice.
The commonly accepted adage from many practitioners and judges is that children “vote with their feet”, meaning that they will ultimately make things happen that they want to happen. While this may occur in some cases, it is not an ideal situation in that it puts the child squarely in the middle and can be emotionally damaging or overly empowering, neither of which is good for a child.