The age a child can decide which parent to live with under Texas law

Can a child choose which parent she wants to live with? It depends. Texas law sets 12 years old as the age a child can be interviewed by the judge for the judge to obtain the child’s desires on who he or she wants to live with. However, this age is not an automatic age a child can decide which parent to live with. As in many family law case types, Texas law gives the judge great discretion in determining what is in the child’s best interest. Turning 12 does not allow the child to decide if they will go live with mom or dad. Turning 12 allows the child to go speak to the judge to tell the judge their preference on which parent they should be allowed to live with. The court will make the final decision unless the parents come into a custody agreement.

About Mac-Arthur Pierre-Louis

Mac-Arthur Pierre-Louis, Attorney at Law & Mediator, is managing attorney at The Pierre-Louis & Associates, PLLC Law Firm. A former Assistant Attorney General for the Texas OAG and former public school teacher, Mac blogs on (@childsupportesq) to educate the public on the law. Visit him at

No content on this blog should be deemed legal advice, nor does any content create an attorney-client relationship. Please seek professional legal advice since this blog is for informational purposes only.