What if Your Child Says He Doesn’t Want to Live with You?

A Scottsdale child custody attorney provides assistance to parents who live separately and who have to determine how children will be raised outside of the nuclear family structure. Whenever possible, parents should work together to make a parenting time arrangement that divides a child’s time between parents in a way that makes sense. This arrangement can become the legally-enforceable custody arrangement. If parents cannot agree, the court will create a parenting time plan that parents have to follow. 

In some cases, children will weigh in on their preferences for how parents share time. If your child says he does not want to live with you, this can be a hurtful thing to hear. It is important to understand the legal implications if your child says this so you can make an informed choice about what to do as far as your custody arrangement.

Singer Pistiner, P.C. can provide you with advice and assistance in making sure you work within the legal system to do what is best for your child. Give us a call to find out more about how a Scottsdale child custody attorney can help.

What if Your Child Does Not Want to Live With You?

It can be very upsetting for a parent when a child does not want to live with that parent after a divorce or a separation. If your child does not want to live with you, the important thing is to determine why that is the case so you can decide how much credence to give to your child’s opinion.

If your child does not want to live with you because you enforce the rules and the other parent doesn’t, for example, this is a situation where you should likely disregard your child’s wishes. However, if your child does not want to live with you because you cannot provide a stable home, then you may be better off allowing the child to live with the other parent at least on a temporary basis.

It is also important to understand how your child’s expressed desire not to live with you could impact custody rights during a separation or divorce.

How Does Your Child’s Decision Impact Custody Laws?

An Arizona State Senate Issue Brief summarizes the custody laws in the state of Arizona. Arizona no longer uses the term custody, but instead uses the terms parenting time and legal decision-making authority. A parenting time schedule dictates which parent cares for the child at which times, and legal decision-making authority determines which parent decides on things like where a child goes to school.

Parents often share parenting time and share legal decision-making authority, although this is not always the case. You and the other parent can negotiate and decide together on how to share parenting time and decision-making authority or the court can decide.

If you and your ex make the choice about who has parenting time, and your child does not want to live with you, it is up to you to determine whether to respect your child’s wishes or not. If the court makes the decision on how parenting time is divided up, the court can consider a child’s preferences about where to live if the child is old enough and mature enough.

However, the child’s preferences are just one factor the court looks at. The court’s aim is to decide what is in the best interests of the child. If the court finds that it is best for your child to live with you for some or all of the time, even if the child does not want that, the court may decide to order that the child live with you.

You and the other parent have to comply with the court order or with the parenting plan you agreed to, regardless of what the child wants. If a change does need to be made because of the child’s strong preferences not to live with one of the parents, then it may be necessary to ask the court for a modification of custody.

Getting Help from A Scottsdale Child Custody Attorney

A Scottsdale child custody attorney at Singer Pistiner, P.C. can assist you in understanding how the Arizona custody laws work and can help you to take the necessary steps to protect your kids. We know how important it is for you to be able to raise your children and build strong relationships and we will work hard to help you get a parenting plan that works.

To find out more about child custody issues in Arizona, download our free divorce guide. You can also give us a call at (480) 418-7011 or contact us online to talk with our legal team about how we can help you with custody issues.

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