Can The Child Decide Who He or She Wants to Stay with Post-Divorce?
Divorce is sadly sometimes the only option available to couples whose marriages have faded over the years to the point of no return. Couples find it easier and much less stress to stay apart or away from each other and lead their lives separately. But what happens to the children?
Why is it important to let children have a say in who will have custody of them post-divorce
Adults may find it easier to cope with divorce as they understand the differences and disagreements that make it impossible for them to live together. But if they have young kids or children who do not seem to be able to understand or grasp the reality of why their parents are suddenly separating it can be extremely scary, stressful and saddening for the kids. Not only do they have to cope with not seeing their parents together anymore for reasons which are probably hidden from them to protect them, but they are also forced to make the very difficult decision of which parent to live with.
Now courts and legal attorneys in the United States have started listening to the children’s wishes more and not just what the parents want and what suits them and their lifestyles. Any child, in order to grow up to be a normal adult and have a normal life, needs the love and affection of not just one but both his parents and courts are now understanding the importance of this and are taking the child’s thoughts and feelings into consideration too while deciding which parent will have custody over them.
What factors determine child custody post-divorce
The main factor that divorce lawyers and courts look into before deciding which parent will have custody of the child is who is in a better financial position to look after the child’s financial needs like medical, housing and schooling and all round maintenance and care of the child.
But before deciding this, a mediator or counselor is usually appointed by the court of law, preferably one who specializes in child psychology and psychiatry, to have a personal, one-on-one session with the child and discuss their feelings, emotions, and thoughts and find out which parent they would be more comfortable living with and who they would prefer to be with.
Sometimes it’s not just about which parent is financially more capable of looking after the child, which is in most cases the father, but it is also about which parent the child is more emotionally attached to, which in most cases is the mother.
Now shared or joint custody is becoming more and more popular with divorced couples so this allows the child to see both his parents at regular or periodic intervals and has both his mother and father in his life. This is only when the divorce is amicable and the parents both want what’s best for their child.
Getting divorced in California can be complicated. Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.
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