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12 Year-Olds Choosing Parents They Want to Live With

In 2009, the Texas Legislature repealed section 153.008; thus, eliminating the ability of a child 12 years of age or older from filing an affidavit stating what parent or conservator that they wish to live with.  Most attorneys and commentators believe that the repeal is a good thing because it removes the child from the center of a custody battle.  However, section 153.009 remains, which mandates that upon the request of one of the parties, the trial court is to interview child over the age of 12, and may interview a child under the age of 12.  Currently, section 153.009 is the only tool for a child to have a voice in court, absent the appointment of an attorney ad litem for the child, or calling the child as a witness, which is rarely, if ever, appropriate.