Is My Daughter Old Enough To Determine Her Own Visitation Schedule?

Ask a Lawyer


When I divorced my spouse 6 years ago, it was ordered that we would alternate visitation every other weekend.

However, my daughter is now 11 and has made it known that she no longer wishes this to be the arrangement.

Is she old enough to make that decision, or will she continue to be forced into a visitation schedule she does not want?

Pennsylvania divorce attorney Jaimie Collins


In Pennsylvania, a child’s preference is one of the factors taken into consideration in a best interests of the child analysis, and the court will entertain requests to hear the child.

While a judge may decline to speak to a child in his or her discretion, typically the court will speak to the child if the child is able to voice his or her preference.

The more mature the child is, the more weight this preference will be given. In Pennsylvania, the child will not be called to testify, but rather the judge speaks to the child in chambers.

In Pennsylvania, a petition to modify may be filed at any time upon a substantial change in circumstances.

Until your petition has been heard by the court, you should encourage compliance with the court order in place so as to avoid a potential contempt issue.

You should consult with an attorney barred in your state to discuss the facts of your case and your state’s approach to modification of custody matters.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer Jaimie Collins, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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