As a family law firm, we can see how many families get confused about their children, when they start the process of getting divorced!
Parents start wondering about whether their children can choose which parent to live with. Or is there a specific age where they can decide?
Thus, to answer these and related questions to the matter. This article will help you to know everything about how and when a child decides. And what’s better for them?
Can Your Child Decide Whom To Live With?
In this section, we’ll make sure you understand all aspects of a child deciding to live with one of the parents.
First, check the family law aspect, no law specifically guides the age when a child can decide which parent to live with.
While the child’s preferences are considered, the child doesn’t make the decision. This is because the court considers itself responsible to decide with whom a child will live, based on the child’s best interests.
Thus, conflicts start bubbling up when it comes to deciding which parent must take care of the child. Therefore, the separated partners must work on this issue before breaking down their marriage.
Separated couples should start by agreeing on how often the children will see the other parent. They must also agree on the financial support and decision-making for custody.
To achieve these agreements ideally, both separating parents must have time to work on these matters together with divorce mediation lawyers like The Divorce Company.
Professional help from separation lawyers can help negotiate to create a parenting plan that meets your child’s needs. And if you and your former spouse cannot agree on habitation, guardianship, and support issues, divorce mediation can help you solve these matters sensibly.
Because taking this to the court can affect your child emotionally, as (he or she) must be suffering from the pain of a broken family already. So take wise decisions when it is about your children’s lives.
When Can A Child Decide A Parent’s Life?
As we said above, court and family law firms don’t have a specific age where a child can choose one of their parents.
Courts especially look into the matter from POV, which parent can provide the best environment for the child.
Judges can consider a child’s views and preferences at various ages. But it will depend on the level of maturity shown by the child, their ability to communicate their views, and whether the child’s views and preferences show that they have put thought and logic into their position.
And the court also can place varying degrees of weight on a child’s stated preferences. These factors help determine the child’s preference besides other statutory factors for the child’s best interests.
So the process might go like this:
- The judge sees the child’s views and preferences for custody. Then the judge chooses to speak to the child alone so that they don’t feel influenced by the presence of their parents or their parents’ lawyers.
- The court can also ask the Office of the Children’s Lawyer to prepare an estimate.
- Or a judge can ask the child over the age of seven, to meet with an independent lawyer or social worker to prepare a Voice Report about their views.
How Family Lawyer & Mediation Services Can Help You And Your Child?
If both parents could not agree on deciding to take care of their child, then a family lawyer & mediation services are essential.
The divorce mediation lawyers can help the separated couples solve their conflicts efficiently and effectively. While the mediation services can get both parents to be in touch with special training and expertise in helping families settle child custody issues.
Moreover, a lawyer can help you obtain resources and services to ascertain your children’s views and preferences if you think they can assist in resolving outstanding issues.
Additionally, mediation lawyers can provide critical advice and advocate on your behalf. They try to negotiate decision-making for custody that respects your child’s preferences. While serving their and your family’s best interests.
So, it is very important to get professional family lawyers & mediation services. To make decision-making about child custody free from conflicts.
The Bottom Line,
As parents, you can choose to get divorced anytime, but you must at least consider how it’s going to affect your children. And it is very important to find ways to make an easy transition for them.
Because unhealthy separation might lead to a psychological impact on a child. They can feel like they have to choose between each parent or feel guilty for wanting to spend time with the other more.
So, for your child’s best interest, you must try to work out things between you and your ex-spouse. If both of you could not tone in, then both of you must hire a family mediation service in Edmonton. To help the child cope with separation and help both parents to see the best for their children.