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Some parents try to influence their children to see the situation as they do.
This will often be an additional burden on the child who does not want to disappoint this parent or feels inadequate to resist their influence and also wants to maintain his or her relationship with the other parent. This is one of the most difficult experiences a child can have while already having to face all the changes due to the divorce itself.
Suddenly, your once-loving and affectionate child seems to fear and, in some cases, despise you.
He may even be reluctant to share a meal with you as though merely being in your presence is unbearable.
When Mom or Dad uniformly does not support a child’s activities when that activity spans the parenting time of both parents, it is not surprising to a judge that a child might have a preference.
However, children rarely know all the details of how a parent decides to do something or what both parents talk about regarding their decisions.
In fact, he scoffs at the idea of being coached by anyone.
On a fairly regular basis I am asked by a divorced parent how old their child must be before they can choose which parent they want to live with.
They appear to be uniformly surprised to learn that a minor child does not have the legal right to decide which parent to live with.I have spoken with many adults who, as children, “got to choose” where to live when their parents divorced.In retrospect, they regretted having made a decision that was honored, feeling guilty about the parent they did not choose and feeling the tug of loyalty between the two people who brought them into the world.Sometimes the decisions are financially impacting one parent differently than the other.The child may only know that Mom or Dad is not taking them where they want to go but not that it is not affordable.
Whatever the reason, by early to mid teens, a court is likely to take the child’s concerns into consideration in making an order while being very careful not to ask the child to make a decision and learning as much as possible about the context of that preference.