Can my child decide with whom he or she wants to live?

| Jul 24, 2020 | Child Custody |

Child custody is often a hot topic in a divorce. You and your spouse love your children and want to spend as much time with them as possible. It is easy to see how emotions may run high, but at the heart of this is a child who only wants both parents in his or her life. 

You may wonder if your child has any say in what custody decisions the court makes. According to the Michigan Courts, a judge may consider a child’s opinion and choice when it comes to assigning custody to parents. 

Factors in a judge’s decision

The judge may decide to hear a child’s preference if he or she feels the child is old enough to present a sufficient opinion. He or she may consider how mature the child is and how well he or she understands what is happening. It is important that the judge makes sure your child knows the impact of this decision as well. 

Not the child’s decision

Despite the fact that a judge may consider your child’s opinion, the law does not allow a child to make the final decision. Only adults or emancipated minors can make such a choice. 

Judge’s discretion

Whether the court decides to honor a child’s wishes is completely up to the judge in your case. The judge will weigh everything he or she hears to reach a decision that is in the best interests of your child, which may not always match what the child wants. However, it is the court’s duty to ensure that the decision it makes will provide the safest and healthiest living arrangements for the child.