Moses Lake, WA asked in Family Law, Civil Rights and Juvenile Law for Washington

Q: If I am 17 and I live with my sister, and neither of my parents have a permanent residence, can I choose where I live?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Washington State, if you are 17 and living with your sister because neither of your parents have a permanent residence, your ability to choose where you live may depend on several factors. Generally, until you turn 18, your parents or legal guardians have the authority to decide where you live.

However, if your parents are unable to provide a stable home environment, a court may consider your preference, especially given your age and the circumstances. If your living situation with your sister is stable and in your best interests, a court may view this arrangement favorably.

It's important for your parents to be involved in this decision, and if necessary, a legal guardian may need to be appointed. If there are concerns about your welfare or custody, it might be wise to seek legal advice or contact child protective services for guidance. The court's primary concern will be your welfare and best interests. As you approach 18, you will gain the legal right to make decisions about your living situation independently.

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