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What children want, not controlling in child custody matters

Divorces can be emotional, painful and stressful for parents and children alike. Phoenix parents who have gone through the challenging process of ending their marriages, all while providing their kids with stable lives, know how rough it can be to keep the peace between youths and adults in such situations. It can be tempting to allow kids to get whatever they want during such trying times as a means of keeping them happy. From a legal standpoint, however, the wants of children are not necessarily guaranteed to serve their best interests.

For example, when the court is establishing the child's custody order, the court can consider the child's parental preferences. Older children are generally given more consideration than younger children in these matters, though, it is up to a court to ultimately create a custody plan that serves the best interests of that child.

If a child custody plan is created and later proves to be ineffective, due to the wants and needs of the child, either parent can seek to modify the custody plan to bring about needed changes. But, a court will still refer back to its mandate to protect the child's interests, instead of accommodating a requested modification that may not provide a sound environment for the youth.

Adults are not the only ones affected by divorce. Children's lives are often uprooted as their parents separate and end their relationships. While kids can have some say in what happens to them after their parents' divorce is finalized, courts will consider their best interests as the most important factor when creating or modifying a child custody order.

Source: The Charlotte Observer, "Avoiding the "Most Popular Parent" contest in custody cases," Patra A. Sinner, April 6, 2016

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