When you’re trying to decide on a custody arrangement while getting divorced, you and your spouse will spend a lot of time talking over your options. You may do this with a mediator or in court, or you may just have these conversations in your free time as the case proceeds. You know it’s one of the biggest decisions you have to make.
But it is also clear that the kids are the ones who are going to be dramatically impacted by this decision. Should you talk to them about what they would want? Should you get their input?
The children should never have to choose, but they may have a voice
First and foremost, you never want to make the children feel like they have to choose between their parents. The goal is for them to have a good relationship with both of you after the divorce, and this is why courts usually divide custody between both parents. You want your children to feel like they don’t have to pick one over the other or play favorites.
That said, the children could have a voice in this process. Even the courts will sometimes listen to a child’s opinion, though it won’t decide the entire case. But the judge will likely take that opinion into account, especially with older children. You can do the same thing and include them in these conversations.
Setting up the ideal situation
At the end of the day, the goal is to find an ideal solution for you, your ex and your children. Make sure you know what legal steps you’ll need to take to get that all in place.