In Wisconsin, the answer is “never.” But for some reason, there is a common myth among clients that once a child reaches a magic age – 13, 15, 16 – they “get” to choose who they will be placed with. This is simply not true.
What is true is that one of the many factors that a court will consider in making a placement determination is “the wishes of the child.” Wis. Stat. 767.41(5)(am)2. It makes sense that a court would take into consideration what the child wants, as well as their age, emotional and physical needs, ability of the parents to meet those needs, etc. It also makes sense that a court would not force a child into a position where they would have to make such a monumental decision.
If you have questions regarding changing your child’s placement schedule, contact the attorneys at FOS for assistance.