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Could your child choose not to live with you?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2022 | Divorce |

You don’t want to lose time with your child after the divorce. There’s nothing more important to you than getting to share custody with your ex. And your ex actually agrees and says that they don’t want to seek sole custody. They would also like to share, and they figure that is better for the child in the long run.

But what you’re worried about is that your child may actually prefer to live with your ex. Perhaps your ex was the main caretaker of the child when you were at work. Perhaps they’re both just the same gender, and they seem to have a connection there. Whatever the reason is, could your child choose to live with your ex and never live with you?

Age and opinions

First of all, remember that the court considers numerous factors when deciding how to divide custody. They will think about things like health, criminal records, living situations, proximity to school, involvement of other extended family members and much more. They will even consider religious and cultural issues.

One factor is that your child may be allowed to express their opinion to the court if they’re old enough. This usually isn’t done with very small children, but a teenager may be asked where they would prefer to live. They can then give this opinion, but they’re still not choosing where to live. They’re just adding one more factor for the court to weigh while deciding what to do.

If you are worried about losing custody for any reason, it’s absolutely critical that you understand all of your legal options.