Wishes of the Children

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Wishes of the Children

Wishes of the Children in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma Child Custody Matters

When a divorce or child custody case is taking place, some may tell their attorney that their child wants to reside with them. Wrongly, they then sometimes assume that they have an easy case.

The truth s that child custody is determined by looking at the best interests of the child in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma. In deciding what is in the best interests of the child, judges are to look at the statutory factors. There are different factors look at from their health and safety; their emotional needs; the co-parenting skills of the parents; the need for interaction with siblings and other relatives; the child’s adjustment to home and school; and other factors.

It is true that the wishes of the child is one of the factors that the court can consider in determining what is in their best interests. However, there are many other factors that the court can consider as well.

In sum, kids do not get to pick where they get to live. On the other hand, a court can certainly consider the wishes of the child. In doing so, they have to determine whether their desire is based on legitimate reasons or not.

If the reasons make sense, like they will have a more stable home with one parent, can get a better education and/or emotional support in one parent’s home versus the other, a judge may find this persuasive. The age of the children can also come into play as well in terms of the weight the judge place’s on their wishes. The older the child is, the more likely a judge may be to put weight on their wishes.

Conversely, a judge could put little weight on the wishes of the child where the reasons are not convincing. This could be the case where a child wants to live with one parent because they can do what they want at a particular parent’s house; do not have to do their homework; can drink or do drugs; or other improper reasons. There are also extreme cases where a child could suffer from parental alienation.

Guardian ad Litems and Child Custody Evaluations Can Sometimes Help

A guardian ad litem can also work to understand the desires of the child to determine whether they are proper. A child custody evaluation can also be helpful in some cases as well. In either instance, the judge can sometimes be advised of the wishes of the child without them having to testify in court.

In the final analysis, the wishes of a child is one factor that the court can consider in determining custody. But it does not mean that the court has to do what the child desires at the same time.

Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma Child Custody Lawyers Focusing on the Best Interests of the Child

If you are going through a child custody case, Stange Law Firm, PC can help. You can contact us online or at the numbers below. We have locations in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, Wichita, Tulsa and beyond in the Midwest.

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Full Service Child Custody Representation

Our child custody practice focuses on protecting the wellbeing of children and the rights of parents. We handle issues such as:
Visitation
Often called parenting time, visitation is the amount of time a noncustodial parent spends with his or her child. We can handle a broad spectrum of visitation matters.
Creating a parenting plan
Getting visitation rights means drafting a parenting plan that works. We can help.
Relocation with a child
Courts have continuing jurisdiction over child custody and visitation orders. So, when a parent wants to move, it is usually necessary to get the court's permission first. Failure to do so can put your time with your child in jeopardy.
Enforcement of orders
If a parent fails to follow a child custody order, it may be possible to take him or her to court to enforce the order.
Contempt of court
If you are found to have repeatedly ignored a court order, you may be found in contempt of court.
Modification of orders
When you need a court order changed, you can work with the experienced attorneys at Stange Law Firm, PC.
Custody Issues for Nonmarried Parents
Next to divorce actions, paternity cases (custody and support cases between unmarried parents) are among the most common cases in family law.
Parental Rights
Parents are often concerns about their parental rights, especially fathers in certain circumstances.
Family Access Motions
If you are being denied access to your children, you may want to consider a family access motion.
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
If you have jurisdictional issues involving your custody case, you will want an attorney familiar with the UCCJEA.
Custody Evaluations
If you have a complex custody case where psychological issues or abuse may be in play, you might want to consider a child custody evaluation.
Hague Convention
If you are dealing with an international child custody dispute, and perhaps child abduction, knowing about the Hague Convention is often critical.
Third-Party Custody
If you are not the biological parents, in certain cases all may not be lost. You might have a right to third party custody in certain situations.
Fertility and Surrogacy
Fertility and surrogacy is a growing area of the law for those who want children.
Transportation
In some custody cases, parties might live far apart. This can result in difficult child custody cases with transportation at issue.

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