Can anyone tell me what age a child has to be to be able to make their own choice of who they want to live with?
My husband and I have been separated for around 7 years and the children live with me. I have recently filed for divorce etc and my husband now wants shared custody of our children but they don''t want to live with him.
He pays no maintenance and I believe that the only reason he wants shared custody is because he will have to pay me a maintenance fee....
As far as I am aware there is no hard and fast rule of when a child can make the descision, it depends on the relative maturity of the child/children in question. But I think from around 10 the views of the child would be listened to (not necesarily followed) and from the age of around 13-14 they can do what they like as there is no telling a teenager
so for the last 7 years the children have lived with you and he now wants to change that?
I would suggest the only way that would happen is if he dragged it through court and he children are of an age (as Lostboy says) where they are allowed to make up their own minds. If they are of that age and they want to live with you, there''s no problem. If they are younger and he drags it through court, the fact the children have been permanently resident with you for the last 7 years and are showing reluctance at living with dad, regardless of their age, make a change of residence or even shared residence highly unlikely.
Has he not been paying maintenance for the last 7 years? If not, I suggest you open a case at the CSA immediately - you don''t have to be divorced to do that, just separated.
Are there arrangements for contact in place? If so shared residence can be in different proportions from 50:50 and practically isn''t that much different from the more traditional contact/residence arrangement.
It may be that your s2bx faced with the reality that you will soon nolonger be married fears that he will lose contact with his children, it depends how much contact he has had until now. Perhaps you could reasure him that the existing contact arangements will continue. Either way he should be paying maintenance and should have done previously.