If you are dealing with a divorce and want to do what is best for your children, you might want to consider allowing them to have input about where they will live. The law does not normally give children the right to choose which parent they get to stay with. However, their preference may help the courts come up with a child custody determination that agrees with everyone.
Divorce can make even the most basic or simplest of decisions harder to make. In terms of custody, there are many factors that parents must look at in addition to their own preferences and issues. Here are a couple of things for you to consider your children’s input in child custody matters.
Children’s best interests
The end of the marital relationship does not mean that children should sacrifice their quality of life and well-being. To ensure that children suffer minimal impact from divorce, the courts place their best interests first before considering input from the parents or children.
You may have specific concerns about your ex-partner’s ability to properly raise and provide for your kids. However, if you cannot provide proof to support your concerns and how they may impact your children’s best interests, the courts will base all custody decisions on the factual information they have.
Sufficient age and capacity
The law does allow for children of a certain age to have more input over which parent they will live with. Older kids typically have a better understanding of the situation and can articulate their needs, concerns and preferences.
When considering custody, the courts may ask your children about their relationship with you and your ex-partner and which parent they would want to live with. During the questioning, the courts are evaluating your children to determine their capacity and understanding of the matter and how much to weigh their living preferences in the final decision.