At What Age Can My Child Decide Which Parent to Live With In Utah?

by | Mar 17, 2021 | Child Custody, Family Law Friday | 0 comments

Kids Refuse to Go

“At What Age Can Kids Decide Who They Live With?”

I’m Jaclyn Robertson with JR Law Group and welcome to Family Law Friday.

We often get asked, “How old do my kids have to be before they can decide who they live with?”

The long and short is, the children don’t get to decide. Ultimately, while Utah law says at the age of 14 the court may consider preferences of the children, the courts, attorneys, and other mental health professionals helping parents and children going through divorce, all agree it’s never good to put the children in the middle.

Children Should Not Be The Ones Deciding Who They Will Live With

Ultimately, you, the courts, as well as professionals, will try to figure out a schedule that is in the best interest of the children. Child custody is often a heated topic. A lot of factors come into play and keeping children out of conflict and out of the decision making process will be everyone’s goal.

What About Utah Law And Child Preference?

Technically, according to Utah Law, the “desires of a child 14 years of age or older shall be given added weight but is not the single controlling factor.”

Again, 14 and above, the court may consider the preference of children and what they have to say, but even that will be the exception and not the normal case.

What If My Kids Refuse To Go With My Ex?

If you have a situation where the children are flat out refusing to go with one parent or the other, then this does need to be addressed.

We get it. Teenagers who have cars and friends and opinions can be impossible to work with. But before you jump to get your teen involved, remember the court needs more than just age to make a decision.

Encourage your teens to stick with the schedule and if that doesn’t work, therapists and other people may need to get involved to help work through custody issues.

I’m Jaclyn Robertson. If you would like to speak about your specific case or have concerns about your children, give us a call. (801) 297-8545.

JR Law Group is a Salt Lake City based firm specializing in Divorce and Family Law. For more information call JR Law Group at (801) 297-8545 to schedule an appointment or visit them online at and Instagram: @jrlawgroup.

Join JR Law Group each Friday as we feature a new video covering different aspects of Divorce and Family Law.  Topics range from initial divorce proceedings, to child support and child custody, marital estate and asset distribution, alimony, adoption and more.

Disclaimer – This video is intended for informational purposes only.  Nothing in this video is to be considered as either creating an attorney-client relationship between the viewer and JR Law Group or as rendering of legal advice for any specific matter. Viewers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. No viewer should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information contained in the video or on JR Law Group’s Website without seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue.

You may also be interested in…

Ten Tips for 50/50 Custody in 2023

Ten Tips for 50/50 Custody in 2023

Divorce is undeniably a challenging experience, and when children are involved, it becomes even more complex. In the ever-evolving landscape of divorce and custody arrangements, navigating the process requires careful consideration and proactive...

read more