Knowledgeable, Effective Guidance

In divorce, can children choose where they want to live?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2022 | Divorce |

For parents who are getting divorced, one of the biggest questions to ask is where the children are going to live. Generally speaking, custody is going to be split between both parents.

But this doesn’t mean that that division is going to be perfectly equal. For instance, if one parent lives near the child’s school, then they may live with that parent all week long. They may then see the other parent on the weekends. Every case is unique.

One question you may find yourself asking is whether or not your child gets to decide where they want to live. Perhaps you know they want to live with you, or maybe you’re worried that they would rather live with your ex. Does their opinion hold any weight in court?

The court can consider it

As a general rule, if the court determines that the child is old enough to understand the divorce process and the ramifications of their decision, they will consider what the child would like. If the child absolutely wants to live with one parent over the other, the court will listen to that argument and take it into account.

That said, there is no guarantee that the court is definitely going to do exactly what the child has asked. They will look at a lot of other factors, as well, and the child’s opinion will just be one that is weighed against everything else. The court does not have to do what the child has asked and it’s not bound by that decision. At the end of the day, the court is generally seeking whatever is in the child’s best interests, even if the child does not agree.

A divorce case like this can be stressful and chaotic, so make sure you know about all of the legal options you have to make things go smoothly.