Can my Children Choose where they Want to Live?

One of the hardest parts of a divorce for every parent is not seeing their children as much as they want to.  Both parents want the children to live with them and, if the divorce is bitter, may not want the kids to see the other parent at all.  Any fighting involving the children is terrible and should be avoided as much as possible.

For your children’s best interest, you should make the decisions of where they will live together.  If you can’t work it out together, a judge will choose for you and you may not be happy with the arrangements that are ordered.  You may not want to work with your spouse for an amicable divorce, but a quick divorce is what is best for everyone.

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If you do have to go to court, some judges will allow children (usually teenagers) to choose where they would like to live, but most will just decide what they believe is the best interest of the children.  Courts do not like to have children testify as it can be so devastating to them.  Young children will not be asked where they want to live, nor will they be asked to testify.  If a judge wants to know how a child feels, a court-ordered counselor will often talk to the children and report back to the court.

Remember that if a counselor is used to talk to your children, this will add expenses to the cost of your divorce.  Expert testimony is not cheap and you or your spouse will have to pay for those services.  Also, your children may be scared to talk to a stranger and reluctant to talk about their true feelings.  They do not want to hurt either parent.

Your children are going through one of the most traumatic events of their lives.  Do you really want to put them in the position of having to choose between their parents?  You both love your children and need to remember to keep their best interests as your number one priority during your divorce.  Work out the details of your divorce between yourselves and leave your children out of the drama.

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