When it comes to children and custodial issues before family court there is no "magical age," says family law attorney Jeanne M. Hannah. As far as the courts are concerned, children are defined as legal incompetents who don't have the ability to make sound legal choices. The court does, however, take into account any statements children make in regard to living preferences.Know More
While, technically, children don't have any legal rights in choosing where they want to live, in reality, the right of children to have input on this important decision varies from state to state, Hannah states. Child custody cases depend on facts and family dynamics that are unique to each case. The court acts as a third party in these situations and, therefore, finds it difficult to make child custody decisions. Judges have a lot of leeway in allowing children to weigh in on the matter.
Judges consider more than just a child's age when it comes to a child's preference to live with one parent over another, Hannah states. They look deeper into the reasons a child has a preference. A child's level of maturity is another factor. For instance, some children are very articulate in expressing their views about parents and home life. Judges also take into account any special needs children may have, such as schooling. The child's best interest is always a major factor in custody decisions.Learn more about Legal Ages
Pennsylvania law does not specify an age at which children may be left home alone. This important question has gained national attention recently as parents try to decide when their children are old enough to be left to care for themselves or others.Full Answer >
It's considered child abandonment if a parent kicks a child out of his house before the age of 18. If the minor is emancipated, the parent can kick him out.Full Answer >
New Jersey law does not give a specific minimum age at which children may be left home alone. However, New Jersey statute 9:6-8.21 is applicable to abuse and neglect if a child under 18 has been endangered when left home alone.Full Answer >
Although there's no legal age that has to be reached before a person can buy a pet, it's important to be old enough to understand the commitment that comes with pet ownership, and children should always check with their parents to be sure that they are permitted to bring a pet home before purchase. Pets are a big responsibility, and one that can't be taken lightly, since buying a pet puts the owner responsible for that pet for life.Full Answer >