Child custody debates often raise a lot of questions about legal rights, the best interests of the child and the parents’ desires. While people often say that the goal is to set up the best custody situation for the kids, it’s interesting to note that the children’s specific desires have often been ignored.
For instance, in multiple studies, children have directly said that they want to stay involved with both parents. They don’t want a mother or father to be essentially cut out of their lives. Gender doesn’t make a difference. When asked what they want, equal access is what they chose most of the time.
For example, in one study, a full 60 percent of kids said that they desired to have unrestricted contact to the parent who didn’t have custody. They didn’t want one visit a week or a chance to live with the noncustodial parent every other weekend. They wanted to be able to see that parent as much as possible.
Of course, this does mirror what children had before the divorce. Some kids claimed that seeing the noncustodial parent on just every other weekend was “severely inadequate” and that divorce was nearly intolerable unless they got to see both parents as often as they wished.
It is worth noting that recent years have seen a bit of a movement to even out parenting time and keep both parents involved, but is it enough? When trying to address the best interests of the children, does it make sense to ask the children what they want?
Keep all of this in mind when working to create a legal child custody plan. Remember your rights as a parent, but don’t forget about your child’s rights, as well.
Source: The Federalist, “What ‘New’ Studies Say Is Best For Children Of Fractured Homes,” Leslie Loftis, accessed Oct. 06, 2017