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Letting the kids decide: When should children get a say in custody?

by | Jul 28, 2020 | Family Law |

Your children are getting older.  Your twins are getting ready to turn 13, and you know that the idea of a divorce is going to be a shock to them.  You’ve made it this far, and you had hoped to wait until they left home to divorce.  Unfortunately, your spouse decided to file, so you have no choice.

Your bigger question now is if you should let your kids have a say in where they live.  They don’t know everything about the divorce, and they aren’t privy to all the details that might help them make the best decisions for themselves.  Your preference would be to set up a custody schedule with your estranged spouse or with the support of a judge because you think that your children won’t fully consider the consequences.

Are a child’s wishes considered in Pennsylvania?

Your children’s wishes are just one factor that plays a role in a custody dispute. Several factors are considered, such as:

  • Which home will have better stability and continuity for your children
  • The proximity of the parents’ homes to each other
  • Current or past risk of harm or abuse
  • If one parent is more likely to be able to provide for the children’s needs
  • Past parenting experience and duties by each party

The court will consider all relevant factors when deciding who should have custody and when, unless you and your spouse can come up with a solution on your own.  If you have any questions about your custody case or need more support, your attorney can help you get the information that you need and assist you in seeking custody time.


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-Chanda, Philadelphia, PA