How Much Input Should the Kids Have During a Divorce?
Should the views of a child be taken into account when two parents separate and are trying to sort out their future? This is a question that is often overlooked, as the adults are sometimes focused on trying to sort out their financial affairs, even though they are bound by law to consider the welfare of their kids. If you're in this situation, perhaps you should pause for a moment and think about this question. Is it appropriate to consult the child?
Age of Maturity
Most people understand that an individual will only take responsibility for their own welfare once they reach the age of maturity, which is typically 18. However, a family court may well consult the individual child even if they are well below that age, but much will depend on their level of maturity and their perception of the current situation.
The child will, of course, be confused and upset, and this can be a complicated situation to approach. They may nevertheless have an opinion and might want to spend more time with one parent than another, but all the circumstances must be taken into account before any decision is made.
One parent will be moving out of the family home and into another property, and in this case, it's easy to see why the child may want to remain in their familiar home instead. This is not a reason to mandate that, however, as it would also be good for the child to get used to a routine at the other residence as well. This might take some time, but it will help them maintain a good relationship with both adults.
Of course, it can become even more complex if there are several children involved, especially if they are of very different ages. It's not a good idea to have very different arrangements for each child, as the kids need to interact with each other as they grow up.
The parents must be careful not to influence the decision of the child one way or the other, either accidentally or on purpose. Sometimes a parent will introduce a strategy to try and get more control over a child, but a court will typically see through this during their analysis.
Remember, the welfare of the children must be front and centre in this type of situation. If you feel that your child needs to have a bigger say in the matter but you are experiencing some opposition, then you should talk with a family lawyer. They will be able to help you put your case forward to best effect.