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Can your child choose where they want to live when you divorce?

When you decide to divorce, you know that your family will go through some difficult changes. After all, the two of you will inevitably end up living separately. When you have children, your relationships with your kids will also evolve after your separation.

Children of all ages can have intense emotional reactions to the news that their parents intend to divorce. In some cases, children may feel very strongly that one parent is to blame or that they only want to live with one of their parents.

It is only natural to worry about what your children might prefer and how much of an impact their wishes may have on your case. At what age will your child’s preferences potentially have an impact on custody matters in Georgia?

Teenagers can have a say in custody information

A Georgia family law judge has to consider numerous factors about your family when they split up parenting time and responsibility for the children. The pre-existing relationship each parent has with the children and their ability to take care of the kids will be important, as will any other factor that the judge believes would influence what is best for the children.

When children are 14 years of age or older, they can potentially have a say in custody matters. They can sometimes select which home they would prefer to have as their primary residence. However, a judge is unlikely to use a child’s request as justification for granting sole custody to one parent. Judges typically want to help support both parents’ relationships with the children unless there are issues that would make such arrangements unsafe.

A child’s short-term conflict with one parent is unlikely to convince a judge that they should not at least spend visits with that parent. If you are the parent currently struggling in your relationship with your team, the good news is that you will have time to see your child and work on your relationship. If you are a parent who would prefer to have primary custody if possible, realizing that your children can have a say in the matter may help you feel more comfortable with your decision to divorce.

Learning more about how Georgia handles custody conflicts will help parents nearing the end of their marriages.