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Can a Child’s Preference Affect Custody Orders?

Child custody agreements may be designed or modified based on the involved child’s preferences for whom he or she want to live with. Although judges aren’t necessarily required to follow children’s preferences, a minor’s happiness can play a substantial role in how a judge determines what is in the child’s best interest. If a child clearly indicates a preference for living with one parent or the other during a private conference with the judge, this could influence the court’s decision in creating or modifying a child custody arrangement.

At Alexander & Associates, we understand difficult it can be for parents to protect their rights and interests in child custody cases in Colleyville. That is why our experienced attorneys work tirelessly to help our clients through the child custody process, giving parents a powerful voice when they need it most.

How is a Child’s Preference Factored into a Custody Case?

Child custody cases can be particularly complex. Judges weigh a variety of factors to determine what is in the best interest of the children in question, including the children’s preferences for living with one parent or the other. In order for a judge to cite a child’s preferences in this process, the following must be met:

  • The child must voice his or her preference in an interview with the judge
  • The child must be at least 12 years old
  • The child’s preferences must match what is in the child’s best interests

Depending on the case, children younger than 12 years of age may also be interviewed for these purposes. However, twelve is the commonly accepted age for a court to accept a child’s preference into making child custody decisions.

Contact a Child Custody Attorney in Colleyville

If you need to create a child custody agreement or are considering filing for a child custody order modification, we may be able to assist you through this potentially complicated process. For more information about how we can help you prepare for legal action in a family law case, contact a lawyer from Alexander & Associates today by calling 817-756-4040.