Child Custody: When a Judge Considers the Child’s Preference

Child Custody: When a Judge Considers the Child’s Preference

When Your Child’s Wants to Decide Custody

It is not uncommon for children to voice their opinion in the child custody arrangements in their parent’s divorce. This is typically legal around age 14 but there are some exceptions. This may prove stressful for parents, as they do not want to lose visitation or custody of their child.  Our team of New Jersey child custody attorneys can help you prepare for your child’s custody meeting and protect your parental rights to your child.

Contact our team for child custody counsel. Call (732) 783-5588.

What to Expect

There are a few common factors and expected protocol when your child requests to speak with the judge regarding his or her preference for living arrangements.

You can expect:

  • Your child will be interviewed in a meeting with a court appointed guardian other than the parents or with mediators or lawyer.  It is rare for a child to have to testify in a court trial.
  • If your child is interviewed, you will most likely not be allowed to be present during the interview so that your child can speak freely without your influence.
  • Your attorney and your spouse’s attorney may be present or can submit questions for the interviewer to ask of the child.
  • The wellbeing, safety and best-interest of the child will be considered.
  • The judge will consider your child’s maturity and competence of the weight of his or her decision to choose one parent over the other.
  • You must consider your child’s preferences and the effect of divorce on the ability to do homework, extra-curricular activities and their age in relation to the preferred parent without reacting emotionally or downplaying the validity of his or her feelings. Your child needs to feel safe and able to express emotions without fear of repercussions.

Contact Our Team to Discuss Your Child Custody Concerns

If you are nervous or concerned about your child’s custody preferences, discussing your divorce with one of our New Jersey child custody attorneys will help.  We can provide experience-backed advice and counsel regarding what to expect and how to protect your parental rights.  Our seasoned and compassionate team will work in your child’s best interest while advocating for fair and reasonable custody.

Contact us for a free consultation at (732) 783-5588.

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