Can my Child Tell the Judge Which Parent They Want to Live With?
Family Code Section 3042 permits a child who is 14 years of age or older to address the court regarding custody or visitation unless the court determines that doing so is not in the child’s best interests, and in that case the court must explain that finding on the record.
The law requires the court to provide an alternative means of obtaining information regarding the child’s preferences if it does not allow a child 14 or older to testify as a witness.
If your child is not permitted to testify then either minor’s counsel, an evaluator, investigators, or mediators who provide custody recommendations to the court may be used to provide input regarding the child’s preference to the court.
While you can request that your child testify in court, it may not be a wise decision for the sake of your children. Having children testify as to what custodial arrangement they want oftentimes makes the child feel that they are having to take sides with one parent over the other, and puts the child in the middle between both parents.