Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: How old does a child have to be to decide on what parent they want to live with?


You may want to review A.R.S. § 25-403 which discusses that the court determines custody based on the best interest of the child. Generally, the decision of who to live with is determined by the courts, and not the children. This is done so that an undue burden is not placed on the child and so that appropriate factors can be evaluated.

Under Arizona Statutes, courts look at several factors to determine which parent should have custody of the child. A.R.S. § 25-403 provides that the court consider:

•The wishes of the child's parent or parents as to custody

•The wishes of the child as to the custodian

•The interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child's parent or parents, the child's siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest.

•The child's adjustment to home, school and community.

•The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.

•Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and meaningful continuing contact with the other parent.

•Whether one parent, both parents or neither parent has provided primary care of the child

•The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding custody.

AZLawforKids.Org provides legal information to kids that may have questions about the law. A similar question was asked and answered on this site. Please visit the following link.


  • How old does a child have to be to decide on what parent they want to live with?




  • Please select your county of residence below.



  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program


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