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How to give your child a voice in child custody disputes

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | FAMILY LAW - Family Law |

Regarding child custody disputes, your children may feel like helpless parties. Legally, they cannot decide on their custody arrangement and may not know what constitutes their best interests. However, understanding and incorporating their opinions can help shape the legal outcome and create a more idyllic custody arrangement.

Of course, when handling child custody, you need to navigate discussions with your kids delicately.

Provide a safe space for your children’s thoughts

Under 50% of children live at home with both biological parents. Given how many children live with divorced parents, psychologists have found that when given a safe place to express their feelings, they tend to thrive more than in households where they do not feel free to share their thoughts. If you want your children to weigh in on their custody situation, foster open communication. Teach them that they have valuable opinions and that you will not judge them, regardless of their choice. Kids need to understand that their parents will not become upset if they want to stay with one parent over the other.

Remember your children’s maturity and age

Listening to your children’s opinions and allowing them to carry weight during the custody dispute does not mean ignoring the children’s age and maturity. Courts will consider your kids’ ages and ability to articulate their preferences when making decisions. Ensure they can comprehend the implications of what they want or say.

No matter your children’s opinions keep in mind that there are legal frameworks that govern child custody. You may have to deal with age thresholds or parameters that affect how much weight your children’s opinions have.