If you are heading for an imminent divorce, your primary concern is probably your children. After all, according to Psychology Today, a high-conflict divorce can take a tremendous toll on the emotional well=being and development of any child. Ensuring you end up with the right child custody arrangement may make all the difference.
When making custody-related decisions, judges in Texas must determine what is best for the kids. Doing so requires considering several relevant factors. While one of these is the opinion of the involved children, there are some exceptions.
The age of the children
As you know, children tend to be impressionable. They also change their opinions frequently. Because of these facts, judges usually do not consider a child’s preference until he or she reaches the age of 12. If your kids are younger than 12, the court simply cannot trust them to know what is in their best interests.
If your children are older than 12, it may be tempting for your spouse to try to convince them to take sides. Parental alienation, though, is not in the best interests of any child. This type of emotional manipulation happens when one parent takes steps to turn the kids against the other parent.
If your child’s preference comes from parental alienation, your spouse’s bad behaviors may backfire. That is, by presenting evidence of your soon-to-be ex-husband’s or ex-wife’s conduct, you may convince a judge to give you the custody determination you want.
Ultimately, if you think your teenage children are likely to prefer living with your future ex-spouse, it is important to prove why your proposed custody arrangement is a better option.