Can a Child Decide Their Own Custody Arrangement?
Children and Child Custody in Monmouth County
Family Law Attorney Serving Monmouth County and Ocean County
One of the most commonly asked questions of our Monmouth and Ocean County family law attorneys is whether or not a child can testify to a judge regarding their preferences when it comes to a custody and visitation decision. Unfortunately, there is no easy “yes or no” answer, instead the answer is “it depends”.
Beyond the issue of whether or not your child can speak to a family court judge lies the issue of whether or not they even should. Doing so may cause strife between the parents, or cause the child to feel torn between their parents and resentful or depressed as a result.
While there are no easy answers to these questions, having an experienced family law attorney on your side any time you are deciding something so important as child custody and visitation can be goes a long way towards helping you make these difficult decisions, and understand the best possible course of action moving forward.
At the Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experiencing working with clients and families in divorce and family law matters of all kinds across Ocean and Monmouth County. To speak with us today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, a child custody decision, a post-divorce modification, or any other family law matter, please call our Brick office or our Sea Girt office at (732) 812-3102.
When Will My Child’s Preferences Be Considered during Child Custody Decisions in Ocean County?
By law, family courts are required to consider a child’s preferences in terms of custody and visitation when the child is of “sufficient age and maturity” to have and express such an opinion. With that being said, whether or not a child meets these requirements is decided on a case-by-case basis.
For example, there are past cases in which children as young as 10 years old were given the ability to express their preferences to the judge, and other cases in which children as old as 16 were not given the ability to speak to the courts.
For a better understanding of whether or not your child may be asked to speak to the courts during a child custody hearing and the potential legal implications, contact our firm today
Child Custody Decisions Involving Children’s Opinion, Wall NJ Custody and Visitation Lawyer
However, one thing that remains constant is that just because a child is given the ability to express their custodial preferences does not mean that the final child custody agreement or child custody modification decision will reflect those preferences.
Family court judges are tasked with considering the opinions of the children, but ultimately must arrive at their own decision which they feel best meets the child’s best interests – something which may not always be in line with what the children are actually saying.
Given the complexity of any child custody decision, whether it be part of a divorce, afterwards, or simply between two unmarried parents, it is highly recommended that any parent deciding such critical and life-changing matters retain experienced legal counsel in order to better understand the law and their options, and represent their needs as well as the needs of the child to the family courts.
Contact A Toms River Child Custody Attorney Today
At the Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience attentively and effectively representing parents during divorce and child custody matters of all kinds in towns across Ocean and Monmouth County, including Wall, Toms River, Jackson, Point Pleasant, Asbury Park, Neptune, Manasquan, Brick, and the surrounding communities.
The smaller size of our law firm allows us to charge fair and reasonable rates for our services, while providing the kind of highly attentive and communicative legal counsel that we know our clients need and deserve.
To speak with Attorney Peter J. Bronzino and our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding whatever child custody matter you are facing, a divorce, or any other kind of family law matter, please contact us online, or through either our Brick office or our Sea Girt office at (732) 812-3102.