One thing that is of the utmost importance during a divorce is making sure that your children are able to live comfortably. You may want to focus on setting up a custody schedule that they’re as happy with as you are.
With older children, there may be times when your children are outspoken about where they want to live or what they want to do. They may even assert that they should get to choose where they go and when they see each parent. Should they, though?
Children don’t get to choose their custody arrangements
It’s not typical for a court to listen to a child’s demands for custody and to make those permanent just because a child wants them. Instead, a court will hear what a teen has to say, but the judge will still want to know what the parents feel is best and what kind of custody schedule they’ve planned to set up.
Children may feel like they should get to choose their living arrangements, but they may not have a full understanding of the divorce or why they will or won’t be living with one parent or the other at certain times. For example, your child may not have a good understanding of your work schedule, but your schedule may require you to set up a custody schedule where you only have custody on the weekends. Even if your child wants to visit throughout the week, it simply may not be a possibility.
With teens, it’s harder to set up custody because they’re more likely to be able to drive and get around on their own. They are more independent, too, which means that they may ignore your custody arrangements or refuse to participate if they’re unhappy with them.
This can be a complicated situation to be in. That’s why it is usually a good idea to talk to your teen about their preferences and then to discuss what your reasoning is for the schedule that you’ve proposed. By working together, it’s more likely that you, your teen(s) and your ex-spouse will be able to work out a solution.