Does a child’s opinion on custody matter to the court?

Custody matters are some of the most difficult and emotional parts of any divorce. For many parents, the idea that they may no longer see their child every day can be devastating. Sometimes, children will make it clear which parent they would rather live with over the other, and parents wonder if that helps their case. A child’s preference is only one of many factors that are taken into consideration in a divorce. The court makes their decision regarding custody based on what is in the child’s best interest. In order to determine the child’s best interest, the court will assess a number of different factors, some of which include:

  • the parent’s ability to care for the child
  • the parent’s history of domestic abuse
  • the parent’s history of substance abuse
  • the parent’s financial situation
  • the relationship between the parent and the child
  • the health of the child
  • the mental and physical health of the parent
  • in some cases, the child’s preference

As far as a child’s preference goes, the court will typically only take this into strong consideration if the child is old enough and mature enough to make educated decisions. If the child simply wants to live with one parent over the other because they don’t make them follow “rules” or allows them to do whatever they want, the court will likely keep this in mind but may not think it is in the child’s best interest to live with the parent. If you have questions about a custody matter, contact our firm today.

If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.