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Is My Child’s Custody Preference Relevant for the Court?

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Obviously, you and your former spouse may have strong preferences for how you wish the Tennessee family court to set your child custody arrangement. But you must remember that this decision also heavily impacts your child, if not the most. So you must consider whether they have a preference for how much quality time they want to share with each parent in the aftermath of your divorce. And if they do, you must encourage them to share this request during your case proceedings.┬áRead on to discover whether your child’s preference in the matter is relevant to the court and how one of the seasoned Clarksville child custody lawyers at Fendley and Etson can push for it to be carefully considered.

Is my child’s preference for custody a relevant factor for the Tennessee family court?

The Tennessee family court understands that your divorce from your child’s other parent may greatly strain the life your child grew accustomed to. For this reason, the court may give your child the courtesy of considering their reasonable preferences for the final custody arrangement and parenting schedule.

Such reasonable preferences may be concerning which parent they wish to live with for the majority of the time. Or, it may regard whether they prefer to remain in the family home over moving back and forth between each parent’s separate residences, among other things.

Of note, the court may only give your child this platform if they are over the age of 12 and therefore capable of formulating an emotionally intellectual opinion on the matter.

What are relevant factors that are considered in my child’s best interest?

You may be worried that your child will paint you as the less-favorable parent in the Tennessee family court’s eyes. However, you may rest easier knowing that your child’s shared preferences cannot make or break the court’s decree.

Rather, the bottom line is that the court will base its final decision on your child’s best interest. And sometimes, your child’s best interest does not align with their preferences exactly. So, in observing the best interest standard, the following factors may carry more weight:

  • The history you and your other child’s parent have in taking on the role of the primary caregiver.
  • The relationship you and your other child’s parent have established with your child while you were still married.
  • The physical, mental, and emotional capacity you and your other child’s parent have to take care of your child safely.
  • The stability of the home environment you and your other child’s parent can provide for your child while under your care.
  • The work schedules and other obligations you and your other child’s parent have that may take away from your safe care over them.

You must do some reflection to fully understand the gravity of the situation at hand. Once you do, you must drop everything and reach out to one of the competent Clarksville family lawyers at Fendley and Etson.