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Can children choose which parent they want to live with?

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2022 | Child Custody

As you go through a divorce, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about where you would like the children to live and how much involvement you want to have in their lives after the split. For most parents, their primary goal during a divorce is simply to maximize their custody time.

But does your child have a say in where they live? Can they just choose which home they get to live in?

The child’s opinion may be considered

There are a lot of different factors that courts use to decide what is in the best interests of a child during a divorce, and the child’s opinion may be one of them. If the court determines that the child is not being influenced by the parents and is old enough to have an opinion – and understand the ramifications of said opinion – then they may take that opinion into account.

Please note that this does not mean that the child is the only one who is making the decision. Other factors still apply, and their opinion is just one part of the picture. The court will weigh it, but the child doesn’t get to make the choice themselves.

For instance, courts generally do consider it best for children to live with both parents. Even if the child expresses a desire to live only with one parent, the court may find a solution where the other parent still gets to be involved. They’re looking out for the child’s best interest at every turn.

Understanding your options

A situation like this can be complex and it is certainly important, so be sure you know about your legal options. The voice of experience can help you cut through the stress and noise of this situation.