Search Site
Menu
“I Want To Go Home”: Child Preference in Custody Cases

No aspect of divorce is more painful than disagreements over child custody.   Even if parents are able to remain civil, children are very sensitive to the unhappiness of their parents—and their own participation in that unhappiness.

Divorce is never easy on any family member.  At the same time spousal relationships are dissolving, parental relationships to children undergo rapid, forced change as a result of custodial arrangements—or lack of them.

When a couple cannot agree on a custodial arrangement or parenting time, the court must decide the best arrangement for children based on a custodial evaluation and the best interests of a child.

In addition to qualitative relationship factors, the court takes the preference of a child about living arrangements into account if the child is of sufficient age to express his or her wishes.

I am often asked by clients how much weight the preference of a child has.  No child can decide where they want to reside until reaching eighteen.  However, the closer to eighteen a child becomes, the greater the weight of his or her opinion.  Maturity is often a deciding factor—does a child understand what he or she wants and why?  And as a practical matter, the preference of a teenager is difficult to ignore.

Custody trials are complicated, usually rife with accusation, and no outcome is certain regardless of clarity of evidence.  If considering divorce, and if custody is likely to be a disputed issue, get good legal advice from the outset.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Randy  S.  Margulis Attorney Photo
Randy S. Margulis
Member

As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 25 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.

Reviews & Ratings
  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy Margulis is knowledgable of Domestic Law, dedicated, responsive, personable, aggressive and effective. I came to him on a friend's recommendation as well as Randy's reputation, and during the initial consultation I liked his approach and track ...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Found Mr. Margulis to be a very organized and professional individual to work with. He is well-respected by his peers and is spoken of highly, I believe this helped with my divorce and made things go smoothly. I would highly recommend his services ...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy is very firm and effective in court while empathetic to his clients. I am a domestic violence victim, and Randy made me feel safe and protected. My financial award was more than I envisioned it to be when I started my divorce. I can't thank ...

    Read more

    Client

See all reviews
AWARDS
BUFFALO / WESTERN NY
  • Niagara
  • Tonawanda
  • Amherst
  • Cheektowaga
  • Hamburg
  • Lancaster
  • Orchard Park
  • West Seneca
  • Akron
  • Batavia
  • Clarence
  • Kenmore
  • Lockport
Contact us

Quick Contact Form