August 18, 2013
Are the Children Ever Allowed to Determine Child Custody Placement?
In the Family Court system, the guiding principle when deciding child custody issues, is ‘what will be in the best interest of the child’. For many divorcing parents this can be a nightmare as one parent attempts to influence the child to live with them with promises of gifts or indulgent behavior, or a child simply develops a preference for one parent over another for other reasons.
What divorcing parents need to remember is that the decision concerning the physical placement and visitation for any of the minor children of the marriage rests squarely with the judge.
Parents (and children) may contribute to the decision making process by providing the court with every conceivable piece of information regarding the current lives of the children, their preferences, who they spend the most time with, their schedules, and where they currently live. It will then be up to the judge to determine what custody and visitation schedule would be in the best interest of the child.
There are many instances as well where the child/ren are asked if they have a preference as to which child they will live with. In many if not all divorce cases involving child custody, if the child is mature enough to have a preference, it will be taken into consideration as long as the other criteria for the well-being of the child are present in those living arrangements.
Child custody issues can be difficult. If you need help with a child custody, divorce, or child support issues, contact me at (401) 942-3100 for a free consultation.