Who Gets the Kids in a Divorce: When to Let the Kids Choose
The number of divorces per year in the United States is just under 100,000. That is a lot of couples jumping through hoops and suiting up for legal battles over the children.
With such a substantial number of divorces, there are a lot of opinions over how to decide who gets the kids in a divorce. Before you make any decisions, you should consider the following.
Who Gets the Kids in a Divorce?
While it may be a lot of stress and drama to have to interact with your ex, your kids deserve the right to know their mother and father.
Divorces can become messy battles where kids are forced to sit and wait while their future is decided for them by highly emotionally charged individuals going through one of the most painful experiences of their life.
Traditionally in court, mothers were given preference as the child care providers of the family but in today’s equalizing society, all options are considered equally, and many fathers are pursuing custody.
Before you demonize your spouse to your children and drag them through round after round of legal battles, you need to consider what you are fighting for. Is it what is best for your kids, or is it what you perceive as the best solution for yourself?
Divorcing With Small Children
When a child is young (before they turn ten) and you divorce, later in life they may have unresolved trauma about the event unless other factors are at play.
Having two parents that live separately and traveling between the houses is not inherently going to mess up your child. Kids can adjust to almost anything, perhaps because they often have no pre-ordained expectation for what is “normal.”
Many parents preoccupy themselves during their divorce thinking about how it will affect the children, but they should devote that energy to helping themselves heal and learning to communicate effectively with the other parent.
When to Let the Kids Choose
If your children are over the age of ten, then they have been in school for five years and made all sorts of friends. They have joined sports teams, bonded with their neighbors, and felt like a member of their community.
During a divorce, many parents have to downsize from their marital homes and move to a new community often forcing their child to change schools. This loss of control can be damaging during development.
Although your child is not an adult, they deserve the opportunity to build a life for themselves. Unless your spouse is abusive, you should understand that they deserve time with their child as well and let the child choose how they want to spend their time.
Finding the Right Attorney
Deciding who gets the kids in a divorce can be a long and hard struggle, but you don’t have to turn the ending of your marriage into a bloody fight to the finish for the kids.
Let us steer you toward a solution. Contact us for a consultation today.