Custody laws are basically the same across the United States due to the Uniform Child Custody Act. For the most part, all states recognize joint custody and grandparent’s visitation rights.
One area where things can still differ vastly, however, is if a state will take a child’s wishes into consideration regarding who they want to live with. If your child expresses an interest in living with you as the noncustodial parent, you may wonder if that will be enough to modify your current custody agreement.
Maryland does not consider a child’s wishes when determining custody arrangements
According to FindLaw experts, Maryland does not take into account the wants of the child regarding custody. Unfortunately, if your nine-year-old daughter says she wants to come live with you, there is little you can do unless the custodial parent agrees to the change in custody. This does not mean, however, that the court will not rule in favor of what is best for your child.
Although Maryland does not consider children’s wishes in custody matters, the courts must approve a custody agreement that is in the best interest of your child.
At age 16, your child may petition for a change of custody
Once your child turns 16, they can have some say in where they live. At 16, they may file paperwork to petition for a change in custody. The courts must still consider the best interests of the child, however, so it is important that your child is clear on why they would like to live with you instead.
While laws vary from state to state regarding child custody, there is almost always some age at which they can influence the court, to a degree, regarding where they live.