Co Parenting In Different States – In fact, Georgia is the only state in the United States that allows children to choose who supervises them. Even then, children must be at least 14 years old and their choice must be approved by a judge.
Thirteen states have no statute requiring judges to consider children’s preferences when making custody decisions. All other states (plus Washington, D.C.) do this; judges who must consider the opinions of adult children.
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The findings come from an analysis of current state regulations by Custody X Change, which provides a web app for parents to manage custody through parenting plans, calendars, expense tracking and more. (Scroll to the end for complete state-by-state data.)
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“If you’re going to court over custody, you need to understand how your state handles many issues, including children’s right to share their opinions,” said Ben Coltlin, co-founder and president of Custody X Change. “There is a debate about what is more important: giving children a voice or protecting them from parental conflict. How your state and judges view this will affect your case.”
“There is debate about what is more important: giving children a voice or protecting them from parental conflict.”
It is important to note that most custody decisions are made by parents in settlements; these parents are free to consider their children’s opinions. When the parents cannot agree, the judge decides which custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child.
When the court issues a guardianship order, the child must obey. This means that your son or daughter cannot refuse to see a parent who has been granted custody or visitation.
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All states allow judges to consider a child’s preference in custody cases as long as the child is mature enough. And as we saw above, most states require judges to consider the opinions of adult children.
So when does a child mature? Most states do not set a specific age, leaving judges to decide on a case-by-case basis.
When the rules refer to age, 14 is the most common. Three states (California, New Mexico, and West Virginia) consider children 14 and older to be mature enough, while two states (Indiana and Utah) place greater weight on children’s opinions in this area.
Four other states (Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas) assumed that children age 12 and older were mature enough to develop preferences worth studying.
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Georgia law sets a minimum age. It said children aged 11 and above could share their thoughts with the court. (And remember, Georgia children who are at least 14 years old can choose which parent they live with, though a judge can overturn that choice if necessary.)
If your child is at least 14 years old, a judge in any state can hear what they have to say. On the other hand, single digit children may not be involved. Children in between these two groups are in a gray area and their ability to provide input depends on their condition, judgment and maturity.
Across the country, children aged 14 and over can generally participate in decisions about parental authority. Children aged 9 and under usually cannot. The rest fall into the gray area.
A judge never has to grant custody of a child based on his or her wishes. Other factors – such as each parent’s criminal history and relationship with the child – always come into play.
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In addition, the judge also tried to assess whether the child’s preference for a parent was due to persuasion or leniency from that parent, which would reduce the validity of the preference from the court’s perspective.
For example, a 15-year-old may not be able to live with her mother as she wishes if there is evidence that the mother has allowed her to drive without a license. In contrast, a 12-year-old with specific reasons for choosing the right parent can have a significant influence on the judge’s decision.
Children often do not testify about their preferences in court because the experience can be emotional and frightening.
Instead, they typically share their thoughts while talking to a judge, guardianship judge, or someone appointed by the court to represent their interests, such as a guardian ad litem. In Georgia, children who are at least 11 years old can file a written statement.
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Conversations with the judge take place in the judge’s office and are therefore called in-room hearings or in-camera hearings. Usually the court reporter and the child’s legal representative are present. Sometimes parents’ lawyers are also given access, but not the parents themselves.
Some judges ask children directly who they want to live with, while others only ask related questions, such as “What do you play with mommy?” In some states, both parents must agree before a child can talk to a judge. . Other various factors include whether parents can ask questions during interviews and whether they can read transcripts.
Children aged 14 or older can speak in court, unless the court considers that it is not in the child’s best interests. Children under the age of 14 can also speak to the court if it is in their best interests.
Children 14 years of age or older have the right to choose which parent they live with, unless the judge decides that the chosen parent is not in the child’s best interests. The judge considered the wishes of a child who was at least 11 but not yet 14.
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The child’s wishes will be considered by the court, and more consideration will be given if the child is over 14 years old.
If the court finds that both parents are fit to have custody, the chancellor (judge) may consider preferring a child 12 years of age or older.
If the child turns 14, the court will consider their wishes. If the child is under 14 years of age, the court makes a decision on custody based on the child’s best interests, taking into account the child’s wishes and other circumstances.
The child can express a preference if the court finds that it is in the child’s best interest. If the child is old enough to form an informed opinion, the court will consider this preference. Assume that a child of 12 years or older is old enough.
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The court considers reasonable preferences for children 12 years of age or older. The court can hear the preferences of younger children. Older children’s preferences are usually given more weight.
Children aged 12 or over can speak privately in court. Children under 12 can participate.
The court can take the child’s wishes into account, taking into account the child’s maturity. Wishes are even more important in children aged 14 or older.
The court will consider preferences for children aged 14 or older if it is in the best interests of the child. It also accommodates the preferences of the younger children, who can express themselves as long as it is in the child’s best interest. The best environment for parents to separate or divorce is to find a way to stay in touch with their children. Therefore, most spouses choose to live in the same area to facilitate the arrangement. No child wants to lose either of their parents, which becomes even more painful when one parent has to move to another state. One of the biggest hurdles parents face after separation is co-parenting in different states. However, there are some things that can make things easier for you, your partner and your children.
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One of the first things you can try with your ex is to have a realistic schedule. It is important to have a clear schedule that you will stick to at all costs. When they are young, children learn to trust, which will help maintain trust by following a schedule. While it may not be possible to be there for all the big milestones in your child’s life, respecting the visitation schedule and staying connected can go a long way.
Communication is essential when it comes to co-parenting in different states. If you are not the one who lives with your child, mark all the milestones and important dates in your child’s life yourself. Whenever you talk to them, learn about such activities and events and they will really let you know that you are in their life. Reassure them the next time you see them and show enthusiasm to see them on your next visit.
As a parent who lives with a child, you should find ways to encourage your child to talk to parents in different situations. If you’re still emotional, the best way to deal with co-parenting in different states is to find a neutral way for kids to stay connected to their mom or dad. Encourage and comfort the child in the event of canceled visitation agreements without damaging the other parent’s image.
All parents agree that getting gifts made by children is the best feeling. The focus of co-parenting across states should be to bring out the best in the child. Find stationery and other essentials to encourage your child to draw and even write letters. Every time they have something for you, you can exchange it for a gift for your child.
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Co-parenting in different states isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you can make it work. and
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