The current law provides for a child to actually state a preference to his caretaker pursuant to the Texas Family Code Section 153.008. That law allow a child to file his/her preference with the Court, if the child is 12 years of age or older. The statute states as follows:
- Criminal Defense Under investigation? Been arrested? Keep your mouth shut!
- Criminal Defense
- Assault Family Violence
- Assault By Choking/Impeding Breath
- Domestic Violence
- Aggravated Assault
- Sex Offenses
- Bond Reduction
- Grand Jury Meeting
- Avoiding an Indictment
- Improper Relationship With a Student
- Theft Crimes
- Theft Over $2,500
- Engaged in Organized Crime
- Probation Violation
- Evading Arrest
A child 12 years of age or older may file with the court in writing the name of the person who is the child’s preference to have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child, subject to the approval of the court.
The statute infers that the child’s preference would be binding if the Court approved the designation. However, the exact wording only talks about the ability to file a preference, and the statute is absent any coercive language.
However, the preference can only be considered by the Judge and may not be used in a jury trial. This does not mean that a child cannot make his or her preference known in a jury trial according to the Court of Appeals in Boriack v. Boriack.