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Do a child’s wishes matter when setting custody terms?

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2021 | Child Custody

The vast majority of parents in Maryland and elsewhere just want their children to be healthy and happy. Unfortunately, when parents are going through a divorce, it is not uncommon for their children to struggle. This is especially true if kids feel their thoughts on custody terms dont matter.

Do a childs wishes have to be taken into account?

A childs wishes do not have to be taken into account when figuring out child custody arrangements. They can be, though. The courts will consider a childs age, maturity level, and if their wishes align with custody terms that suit their best interests before deciding if their wishes will have any bearing on the outcome of the custody order.

In Maryland, when can a child have a say in the matter?

In many states, children have to be at least 14 years old before a judge will take their wishes regarding custody into account. Maryland is different. There is no set age here. A judge will decide if a child is mature enough to consider the relevant facts and weigh in on the situation.

Want your child to have a say?

Some parents in Maryland who are going through the divorce process or already have, and have children who have been vocal about with whom they wish to live, may want their kids to have a say, and that is okay. Getting a childs opinion out there and getting both parents and a judge on board can be a bit of a challenge. While reaching custody terms that make everyone happy can prove a difficult feat, legal counsel can help parents and their children fight for custody terms that they feel will best serve their familys needs.