After going through a painful divorce, the last thing anyone wants is to have to then go through a custody battle. Your children are your ultimate responsibility and making sure they are well taken care of is your biggest concern. Children should be protected as best you can from the stress that comes with a custody battle. They want to make their parents happy and may voice opinions about who they want to live with. But do children have a say in custody agreements? The answer is that they can have some influence in the custody case depending on their age and situation.
The age of the child
A court may listen to the opinion of a child in a custody case, but it may not have much influence on the final decision if the child is young. Children are easily influenced and may be manipulated by one of the parents to say something they don’t mean. The court will also want to shield the children from unpleasant and destructive scenarios like having to choose between parents.
However, if your child is a teen, their opinions may be considered with more weight. They may have good reason to live with one parent over the other and sharing these opinions in court can be helpful. But ultimately, it is up to the judge to decide to listen to your child’s opinion.
Parents maintain their rights
Regardless of what the child says in court, a parent maintains his/her rights unless they are taken away by the state because of abuse, negligence or alcohol or drug abuse. If you are a parent going through a custody battle and you are well fit to be a parent, you have the right to see your children and have a say in how they are raised.
Types of custody
Custody fights can be extremely stressful even in the best of circumstances. Your ex may have always considered you a good parent but when the divorce turns ugly and petty, deciding custody of your children may get swept up in the turmoil of the divorce. Knowing the different types of custody will help you to know if you still maintain some rights or a say in your child’s life. Custody is divided into two large categories, physical and legal.
Physical custody involves where a child lives and how often the child sees each parent. Decisions about the frequency of visitation, what to do on holidays, or what days of the week a parent can see their child are all determined and spelled out very clearly.
Legal custody refers to decisions made for the child. For instance, medical treatments or procedures, religious upbringing, and school decisions.
If you or a loved one is going through a divorce and you need legal advice when deciding your child’s custody case, give Warnock Family Law in Las Vegas, NV a call today.