Does a child’s preference matter in deciding custody?
Sometimes in divorce, the children are the ones who are impacted the most. They may have strong opinions regarding which parent they would rather live with. However, the child doesn’t get to make the ultimate decision in a custody matter, and often for good reason. When custody is a contested matter, the court will need to decide which parent would have the child’s best interests in mind if they are granted custody. There are a number of factors that the court will consider when making this decision and in some cases, the child’s opinion is one of them.
If the court is going to take a child’s preference into consideration, they will need to look at a few things. First, they will look at the child’s age. If a child is old enough, they may consider their decision because they are at an age where they can voice a legitimate opinion about their best interests. Additionally, the court will consider how mature the child is. If the child is old enough and mature enough to make educated choices and are truly considering their best interest, the court may consider their preference. However, if a child is a teenager and can make decisions but is not mature enough to make a decision in their best interest, the court may decide against them.
If you have questions about how custody decisions are made, contact our firm today.
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