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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)
  • Most parents don't even let their kids have the final decision on what to have for dinner, why would we put such an enormous decision on their shoulders?

    Answer by DDDaysh at 4:05 PM on Apr. 18, 2013

  • I think in cases when there is abuse allegations then yes. When I was in the sixth grade, I had a friend that lived with her drunk abusive mother. She begged to live with her father but the judge said that she was too young to make that decision for herself (they suspect that he had been paid off). DFACS could never prove abuse but it was pretty freaking obvious to me and I was only 11. In general, I think that the kids should stay with the mother unless the mother is unable (due to drugs, drink, abuse, ect) or unwilling to care for the child(ren). The judge should listen to the child, especially if it is an older child, but, in normal cases when there is no abuse or drugs involved, it should not be the only thing that makes the decision. And money should never determine custody.

    Answer by Cowgirl_Coyote at 3:45 AM on Apr. 16, 2013

  • No child should be forced to choose between his/her parents. That is unfair to the child and there is no way they are mature enough to make that kind of decision. Depending on their age and maturity, I do think they should be given a voice in court to tell their side.

    Answer by kmath at 6:50 PM on Apr. 15, 2013

  • I believe children should always be heard when it comes to decisions about their future, if they're old enough to understand. I think someone should listen to them privately so they don't feel pressured to say what one or both of their parents want to hear. But I don't think they should be put in the position of making a final decision because they're not yet ready to look at the whole picture and decide what's best for them based on all the facts and not just their emotions or what they think they want.

    Answer by Ballad at 4:37 PM on Apr. 15, 2013

  • Depends on the age of the child. If they are very young, I think they should be heard, and asked why they want to live with one parent or the other. If the answers are things like "Dad is more fun, and he doesn't make me do my homework", that obviously isn't a good reason. If the answers are more serious, like "Mom's boyfriend makes me feel uncomfortable" or "Dad is drunk a lot", then yeah, someone should listen.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 1:13 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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