Can a child choose which parent that they want to live with?

Question Details:

NC Custody: 1) During separation period, if my spouse moves out, can she legally contest and have child partly live with her? Or can the child legally remain where she is until the separation period is over and it is finally decided to which parent she lives with? 2) Does parental gender matter in custody? 3) After age 12 of the child, if she is (mentally) a mature child and chooses one parent over another, what is the likelihood (50%, 75%, 90%, 100%?) that she will be awarded to the parent of her choosing (full custody)?

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