When do courts use a child's wishes to help determine custody?

When do courts use a child's wishes to help determine custody?

On behalf of Aaron & Aaron, Attorneys at Law posted in Child Custody on Friday, September 11, 2015.

Child custody cases can be difficult to go through. Parents often get emotional and children may be traumatized by the constant bickering they may see between their parents, which makes the situation stressful for all parties involved. If parents disagree, the courts will step in and make a decision about child custody for them and will use a number of factors to do so. In some cases, they even let the child weigh in on the case.

In South Carolina, when two parents are feuding over custody of their child, the courts may take the child's wishes into consideration when awarding custody. However, this will only happen for children of a certain age that are mature enough to make this decision. When a child is not old enough or is disabled, the courts may not use the child's wishes to help make a decision about custody. Even if the child is of an appropriate age and is allowed to decide, there is the chance that custody won't be awarded to the parent of their choice because the child may be choosing that parent for the wrong reasons.

A judge may be willing to hear a child out, but this does not mean that this will be the deciding factor. There are still a number of things that the courts will have to examine, so each parent may still be able to receive custody, regardless of what the child wants. At the end of the day, whatever situation is in the best interests of the child is what the judge may decide.

Children of a certain age may get to express their interest in living with a certain parent to the court, but that doesn't mean parents should give up on trying to gain custody of the child if they choose the other parent. It is only right that each spouse be examined fairly, so you want to make sure you put up a good fight. Hiring an attorney to assist with your case may be a good idea.