Modern custody cases generally focus on the best interests of the children. You may assume, then, that it’s always best to simply ask the kids what they want and then see how it fits into your divorce process.
But is this true when trying to set up a parenting plan or a custody arrangement? Do you really want to ask the children which parent they’d like to live with after your divorce?
Picking sides can lead to many potential issues
You can talk to the kids about the custody plans, and you can listen to their feelings, questions and opinions. The court may also take these opinions into account with older children.
However, you want to be very careful about creating a situation where the children essentially have to pick sides. This can be very difficult for all involved, creating rifts between parents and children. It can also lead to manipulation by parents who want their children to choose them, and to parental alienation where the other parent is cut out of the kids’ lives.
When talking to the children, remember that your goal should always be to put their own interests first. That’s true for you and your ex. If getting their thoughts comes from this place of honest intentions, it can help. But, if it seems to be making things more difficult, remember that the court can ultimately decide what happens.
Your rights and your options
It’s incredibly important for divorcing parents to know what rights and options they have in their custody cases. There are solutions that will work well for your family. An attorney can help you uncover options you may not have considered.