If you are going through a divorce, ensuring your child emerges in a mentally healthy place should be your top priority. After all, according to Psychology Today, divorce can cause kids to experience emotional trauma, behavioral issues and even academic decline.
You may feel uneasy asking your child about his or her custody preferences. Still, whether or not your child’s opinion benefits you, it may be good to understand his or her viewpoint.
A relevant factor
Like in other states, Connecticut judges must consider the best interests of the involved child when making custody determinations. Doing so requires evaluating certain factors, including the opinion of your son or daughter.
While there is no set age after which your child’s opinion becomes important, most judges entertain the viewpoints of teens. Therefore, if your child is at least 13, the judge in your custody case may want to hear from him or her. This may require an evaluation from a child psychologist or social worker, though.
It is important to note that your child’s opinion is not likely to be dispositive in your custody case. Because kids have limited decision-making abilities, a judge is apt to evaluate your son’s or daughter’s opinion along with all other relevant information.
If the judge believes your child’s custody preference is not in his or her best interests, the judge is not likely to do what your son or daughter wants. Nonetheless, you should prepare yourself to deal with the issue.
Ultimately, if your child feels uncomfortable stating his or her preference, the court has many other ways to determine which custody arrangement is the right one for your post-divorce family.