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do you think children should be able to make the final decision in custody cases?

I am cunducting a research and i was wondering what did you think about a child being able to make the final decision on who they want to live with during trial. a childs voice should be heard reagrding the parent of choice. Most children will pick the one they are more emotionally attached to not who makes the most money. The parent who has the gives the most time into the welfare of the child.

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Asked by chrissie504 at 3:01 AM on Apr. 15, 2013 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (25)
  • No, but I do think that the court is obligated to listen to what the child has to say about their own living conditions and relationships, but I do not think the child should be obligated in any way to choose between two parents. If there is evidence of abuse in either household then that should be considered first. Maybe having the child speak to a therapist and let the therapist be the advocate for what is best for the child would be a better way. I know a father that is fighting for custody of his kids and I hope to hell he doesn't get it. According to his girls, he and the new wife essentially treat the girls poorly if they say they miss their mom. He has even gone so far as to tell them that they can choose to live with him full time and then asks them who they would rather live with. When they say their mother he tells them they will be homeless and then treats them like shit for the remainder of the visit.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:21 AM on Apr. 15, 2013

  • Unfortunately, he has a lot of money and can act like he's the caring father.

    On the flip side, I know of another father that would love to have his daughter full time because the mother is a nut. She emotionally damages her DD by telling her that her father killed a baby (when the mother chose to have an abortion the first time she got pregnant). She tells the child that she should be afraid of everyone that the father brings her around and will give any toys sent home with her to the dogs to destroy. The child would probably be better off with the father, but the child shouldn't be responsible for making that decision.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:24 AM on Apr. 15, 2013

  • I believe their opinions should be heard but I think it's way too much to ask a child which parent they want to live with.

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 9:54 AM on Apr. 15, 2013

  • No. Children can be easily manipulated by a parent with gifts and lack of discipline, but that does not make for the best parent.

    As pp said earlier, their voice should hold more weight as the child matures.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 10:02 AM on Apr. 15, 2013

  • It depends on the situation & the age, I guess. There are so many parents that manipulate the kids into hating the other parent, because they aren't mature enough to seperate their feelings from what is best for the child. But as far as who the kid lives w/, they should def. have seperate time w/ the judge, away from the parents, to discuss who they'd rather live w/ & why they feel that way. And it should be the main thing that the judge considers, along w/ proof that both parents are "fit", when making a custody decision!

    Answer by HappyEndings at 10:17 AM on Apr. 15, 2013

  • At the age range you are posting in, no a child of this age should not be forced or even allowed to make the choice.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 10:49 AM on Apr. 15, 2013

  • no. unless a judge has found that both parents are completely equal in every aspect of custody and there is no other way for him to chose. also, a child should be given a chance to say where they would prefer to live and it should be considered, but not the final decision.

    plus, for many children having to chose which parent to live with is very difficult...choosing one parent over another. sometimes they are already so upset at the divorce that this just makes them feel worse.

    Answer by okmanders at 11:00 AM on Apr. 15, 2013

  • Depends on the age of the child. ALL children should be heard and it should AL:WAYS be taken into consideration who they prefer to live with, but there are other factors to consider with younger children.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 11:32 AM on Apr. 15, 2013

  • It depends on the age and background of the child.
    I think the child should always have a voice and a GAL does not generally listen to the child, in DGS's case did not even see him.
    I think a child of 14 can be old enough to make a decent plea as to why they should go to one place or another.

    I do think the facts should be looked at carefully. But I do think older children will make a good choice if given the chance.

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:17 PM on Apr. 15, 2013

  • At 8 they should be in the court room and listened to or taken to judges chambers. I have known many 8 year olds tha are very capable of seeing what is going on and saying some very intellegent things about their own wellfare. But no the decision is the judges.

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:20 PM on Apr. 15, 2013

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