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Can your child choose which parent they live with? 

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2023 | Family Law |

When parents get divorced, one of the biggest things they have to figure out is their child custody and parenting time arrangement. When will they get to spend time with their child? When will their spouse see the child? This is all independent of financial child support, simply determining the schedule for where the child lives, who is in charge of them and how this responsibility is shared between co-parents.

One thing that parents are sometimes concerned about is that their child will choose to live with their ex. Maybe you’re concerned that your child simply thinks you are ex is “more fun” or maybe your ex and your child are the same gender and so they have a close bond. Either way, you’re concerned that your child will choose not to spend their time with you, and you’re wondering if they even have the ability to make this decision.

How old is your child?

The key questions to ask may be the age of your child and how well they understand the decision that they’re making.

It is certainly true that older children are often given a chance to voice their opinions in court. The court may consider what your child wants if they are old enough to make a reasonable decision, understanding the ramifications of that decision.

But the court looks at numerous different factors, along with your child’s desires. If the court determines that it would still be better for the child to split time between both parents, even if that’s not what the child wants, that may very well be the arrangement that the court sets up. Children are not given unilateral power to just make these decisions, even when the court does take their opinions into consideration.

Divorce can certainly be complicated as parents. Be sure you know exactly what steps to take.