Divorce proceedings are difficult for children who are usually at the center of custody disputes and arguments between their parents. It’s not uncommon for children to cling to one of their parents during this insecure and tremulous period. When a child expresses a desire to not visit one of the parents, their wishes may or may not be considered by the court depending on the child’s age and circumstances surrounding the custody issues.
A child may express to the courts or attorneys a parental preference, and New Jersey courts are specifically required to determine and consider such preferences. The judge will traditionally determine the child’s ability to reach a sound judgment on a case-by-case basis depending on the child’s maturity and reasoning ability. Although New Jersey judges must consider parental preference, children under the age of 12 are limited in controlling the outcome of a custody case. Sometimes judges will not agree with the custody wishes of a mature older child. Most often, the child’s best interests are placed above a child’s parental preference.
Family Lawyers in New Jersey
With over 30 years of experience in divorce and family law, the attorneys at Nitti & Nitti have the resources, knowledge, and skill necessary to help the courts make the best possible decision for you and your family through your custody case. If your child has a parental preference, then we will ensure the court considers their feelings. We will do what is necessary to prove your child is mature enough to make a decision about their best interests, and together we will ensure that their voices are heard throughout the case.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.