From a young age, children have their own opinions about certain things. They might not want to eat broccoli or wear a particular outfit at a certain time. Those things are pretty insignificant, but they might also have pretty definitive opinions on who they would like to live with if their parents are divorcing and child custody issues arise. In Texas, some children of divorce may have strong inclinations about which parent they would like to live with.
What’s best for the kids
Older children may express strong feelings about where they will go to school and the activities they would like to participate in. In Texas, a family court judge will consider an older child’s preferences when child custody arrangements are being sorted out and will always do what is in the children’s best interests. Texas law does allow children who are 12 or older to have a say in where they’d like to live, but ultimately, a family court judge will make the final decision.
More than one factor
A child’s preference is just one earmark that might be considered during a child custody hearing. Children are never given unilateral power to decide where they are going to live. In the end, the court will establish a plan outlining where and with whom the children will live.
Child custody can often be a difficult topic involving a myriad of difficult decisions. Giving older children a voice in their own futures may make it easier for them to come to terms with the divorce. Securing the help and support of an experienced lawyer during these times can help alleviate a parent’s stress and increase the odds of achieving the best possible outcome for both the parent and any children involved.