Does your child’s opinion matter in San Diego parenting time cases? Will the Judge listen to the input of a child during or after a divorce? Will the child’s perspective outweigh the positions of their parents when it comes to child custody and parenting time?
The short answer is the Judge will listen to the input of any “mature” child. This is generally established as 14 years of age. However, the Judge will absolutely consider the input of a younger child if they are genuinely able to communicate a reasoned position on custody and/or visitation.
That being said there is no guarantee that a judge will agree with the child’s perspective. There are too many issues at stake in these complex family law cases. Has the child been influenced by one of the parents against the other? Parental alienation, the poisoning of a relationship between a child and their parent, is becoming more commonly recognized and diagnosed. It is important to note the Court takes a dim view of this behavior and, when proven, this can result in the limitation of or actual loss of parental rights and visitation.
Will your child’s opinion matter in San Diego parenting time cases involving issues such as domestic violence, drug abuse or alcoholism? The Court is going to intently work to gain a complete picture of each parent and child and the diverse factors which can impact decisions regarding child custody and parenting time during or after a divorce. These include the fitness and parenting skill of each former spouse, income and household environment, the health of the parties and each child, unique or special needs of any child, as well as the existing patterns and rhythms of the child’s life.
It is important to note, any false testimony, allegations or attempt to influence a child’s testimony or perspective will have a substantially negative impact on the Courts evaluation of an individual’s qualification for custody and parenting time.
What makes your child’s opinion matter in San Diego parenting time cases? A mature, reasoned perspective blended with the contextual facts surrounding the child, each parent and the situation in general.