When is a child’s input considered in a child custody case?
Stillwater family law attorney, Matt Ludt, discusses best interests of the child.
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I get this question a lot. There’s not a particular age. I’ll cut to the chase right there. Some people think there is. There’s a lot of talk around it.
There’s not. You can end up having – if you’re a mature ten-year-old that can articulate these things. You can have a 13-year-old or 14-year-old that’s not mature enough to really consider that. It also depends on the type of the case and what the process has been. If it’s just gonna be left up to a judge at the end that the judge may be reluctant to consider that unless the child’s as easily into their teens somewhere where much more able to handle the maturity of being in a courtroom or whatnot.
But, if there’s a guardian ad litem appointed or child custody evaluator or some other sort of reliable, neutral professional, chances are they’ve had a chance to have some one-on-one time with a child. And you could find that they can get some meaningful input from a child that’s really quite young that then would get back to a judge, and then their input, by way of this third party, would be able to get back and be considered by the judge.