Divorce is not easy on children, and it is the kids who can suffer the most during the process of separation. Many times, parents cannot see the hurt and emotional damage due to their own pain and frustration and often make things harder than necessary for children during a divorce.
Child custody arrangements are a difficult part of the divorce process, and it is often the court that must determine appropriate living and visitation arrangements when parents cannot agree.
Consider the age
The children are the foremost priority in a parenting plan, regardless of what works best for a specific parent. Children need to feel included and heard but consider their age. The older your children, the more their voice and input matter. Children under the age of 10 tend to operate out of emotions, which are subject to change according to experience and situations. However, teenage children can more readily comprehend where they will feel the most comfortable and safe. Young children require nurturing, which is often received from the mother.
Consider the reasons
If a child is mature enough to reasonably determine a custody preference, the court may consider this input heavily. However, this decision is carefully examined in light of the reasons why a child makes a choice. Testimony of prior abuse or neglect can influence custody arrangements, but simply not liking a parent is not grounds for allowing a child to have a say.
A parenting plan can help reconcile differences between parents, prior to ending up in family court. Always keep the child’s best interest as the priority for decision-making.