In divorce cases, parents who are splitting up will have to determine where the child is going to live. If they cannot come to an agreement, the court can help make a ruling. This is known as physical custody.
One thing that couples will sometimes worry about is that their child may choose to live with the other parent. If your child expresses a desire to only live with your ex, is the court going to go along with what the child wants?
A focus on the child’s best interests
At the end of the day, the court is interested in the child’s best interests and in making a decision that puts them first. This is why they will consider factors like abuse, for example. If there is evidence of abuse, they are not going to force the child to live with a parent that may put them in danger.
It is true that a child’s own wishes may play a role in court. They are one of the many factors that the court considers, along with things like physical health, mental health, financial situations, cultural considerations, extended family members and much more.
But that does not mean that your child gets to choose exclusively. If the child wants to live with your ex and the court feels it would be in their best interests to see both parents, the court does not have to rule in accordance with what the child requests. It is just one of the factors to be weighed along with everything else.
Complicated child custody cases
Child custody is often complex, and it can be an emotionally charged situation. As you work your way through this process, be sure you know about all of your legal options.