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Does my child have a say in custody?

When it comes to your divorce, one of the most difficult situations you will deal with is determining eh custody of your children. Everyone will likely have an opinion and want the court to rule a specific way. This includes your child. However, the wishes of your child during a custody case may not always be considered by the court. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, Arkansas does not require the court to consider your child's wants at all when deciding custody.

There are actually only 12 states that have the requirement of considering the child's wishes. Even then, it really depends on how old the child is and the child's ability to make sure a request within reason. Maturity plays a large role in whether the court will take a child's wants into consideration.

Even though the law does not require the court to consider your child's request, that does not mean the court will not consider them. That is really up to the judge. Ultimately, the judge will make a decision that he or she thinks is the best for the child overall. The court wants the child to be properly cared for, happy and able to move on with life with as little disruption as possible. If the court is not leaning heavily towards giving you custody or your ex custody, then your child's request could influence the decision.

Just remember, though, the judge has the last say and may not even give any weight to what your child wants. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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Gramling Estes Law Firm

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Gramling Estes Law Firm
One East Center #140
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Phone: (479) 521-4444
Fax: (479) 521-6730
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