If you are a parent in New Jersey and you have to share custody of your children with a former spouse or former partner, you know that there are many difficult aspects to these situations. In general, child custody arrangements are determined by the court. Many factors are taken into consideration at this point, all of which focus on the best interests of the child or children involved.
A judge will generally focus on ensuring that kids have safe environments in which to live. The physical and emotional health of both parents as well as the ages of the children will also be major factors in determining a custody and visitation schedule. For kids who are older, the judge may also want to know what the children prefer.Psychology Today notes that as kids approach their teenage years, this can be important, even if you share joint custody officially.
There are many reasons that teens could participate in these discussions with you including their own natural desire and need for more power over parts of their lives. There can also be logistics that make one location more desirable than another such as proximity to friends, school or a job. Parents are encouraged to listen to kids’ feelings and to collaboratively seek creative solutions to accommodate them if appropriate. Doing so can not only help kids individually but may well be one of the best things you could do for your relationship with your child.
To learn more about child custody concerns with teens and other children, please visit the custody-focused page on our website.