When it comes to deciding child custody in Washington State, even the experts are split when it comes to considering a child’s opinion when deciding custody. While some say that making a child choose between parents or guardians is a cruel question to begin with, others say that older, mature children can have vital input for judges considering custody cases.

When considering your children’s preferences during a custody case, it important to understand the reasoning behind their choice. Here are some reasonable thoughts for preferring to live with one parent over another:

  • “I can talk to one parent better than the other.”
  • “I get more emotional support from one parent.”
  • “I want to stay near my friends and in the town I grew up in.”
  • “I feel more secure with one parent.”
  • “I feel scared, frightened, or uncomfortable with one of my parents.”
  • “I do not get my basic needs met with one of my parents.”

Here are some more problematic reasons a child might give for living with one parent over another:

  • “One of my parents lets me get away with more.”
  • “One parent buys me more presents.”
  • “One parent doesn’t bother me about schoolwork.”
  • “One parent would allow me to get a dog/car/piercing.”
  • “One parent dates someone I don’t like.” 

As you can see, while the court will always act in the best interest of the child, a child does not always understand what is in his or her best interests. However, some mature children – even somewhat young children – might have something important to say about where they are going to live until they turn 18. What’s the right choice to make in your own Seattle child custody case? The answer depends heavily on your children and their abilities to fairly evaluate the situation and what is best for them. It also depends on whether you want to put your child in the position of choosing one person over another.

If you have questions or concerns about your own Washington State child custody case, you may wish to speak with a Seattle child custody lawyer. Call Molly Kenny today to learn more about what is best for your family.
Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington