When your children start to get older, you should know that they may have their own opinions about the custody plans that are in place. By the age of 12, the court will begin listening to your children’s preferences, but that doesn’t mean that what they say will be guaranteed. The court’s job is to make sure your children are in the best possible situation, so if they want to live with dad but mom has more time and greater support, they may not get their way.
You and your ex-spouse may know that your children want something different from what you do now. For example, if you live in one school district while your ex-spouse lives in another, your children might be asking to change schools to be with other friends or may want to live with one parent over the other due to being closer to activities or events.
It’s a good idea for you and your ex-spouse to go over your custody plan every few years and any time there is a major change so that you can decide if it’s still working well for your children. If the custody plan isn’t working, you can negotiate a new one or turn to the judge for help in coming up with a solution.
It’s normal to seek a modification of child custody as your children age. They may have different opinions and want to live in varied circumstances. It’s a smart choice to listen to your children, to have a discussion with your ex-spouse and to continue doing what you both think is in their best interests while considering their input.