How Child Preference Is Weighed
Children of divorce may have a preference about which parent they will live with for a majority of the time. However, the issue of child preference does not come up in many parenting cases. Some children are uncomfortable choosing sides or admitting that they have a preference. When they do express a preference, the court may give it little or no credence if:
- The child is not mature enough to explain why they are choosing one parent
- The preference is clearly not in the child’s best interest
- One of the parents appears to be manipulating the child’s opinion
Rather than have the child testify in front of a judge, the court may assign a licensed professional to talk with the child and discern their preference without parental interference....