When children go through a divorce, they do not always have a say in custody and living arrangements. Some parents, with their lawyers, can amicably decide what to do regarding custody and visitation outside of the court. The child’s choice may have a significant impact on out-of-court agreements.
When parents cannot agree on their own, however, a judge decides who gets custody. A child’s opinion may make less of an impact in this situation. FindLaw provides a list of what most courts consider when determining custody. Some factors include:
- The child’s emotional relationship with parents, siblings and others
- The physical, mental and financial situation of each parent
- The child’s involvement with school and community activities
- Any history of physical or emotional abuse
When is the child’s participation likely?
Unlike some states, Kentucky does not have a specific age at which the court will consider a child’s preference. Regardless of age, if a child is not deemed mature enough, his or her opinion may not be a factor.
What can children do to voice their wishes?
According to the Kentucky Revised Statutes, the court will only revise custody rulings if there is a significant reason to do so, such as abuse or abandonment. The child needs to make his or her wishes known at the time of the initial custody decision. Parents can talk to their children about custody preferences and inform their lawyers about these wishes. The lawyer will tell the court the child’s preference and why the child feels that way. Provided that it is in the child’s best interest, it could significantly impact the ruling.