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Children's preferences in custody arrangements(7 Posts)
At what age are child preferences fully taken into consideration? As far as I'm aware this is at 10 years old. My children are aged 9 and 6.
I'm currently getting divorced and there have been allegations of parental alienation and emotional abuse against my ex (please see my previous post about emotional abuse).
The reason I mention this is that it appears she is attempting to alienate me from my children. For example, she is consistently undermining my parenting ability and personal appearance in front of them.
She has told them how often I will see them in the future. Of course if you ask them, they now day how many nights they want to spend with each parent. Her argument is that a court would be unlikely to go against their 'wishes'.
As I understand, their wishes would be taken into consideration but they can't make their own decision until they are 10 years old. Is this accurate? Unfortunately the longer this goes on, the more she will try and alienate.
My own view is that there is no valid reason why they can't spend more time with me. She simply doesn't want them to.
I was told older than this - 12-13 but it’s not set in stone and your children need to demonstrate a level of understanding of implications
I was told that even then it could be given weight but wouldn’t necessarily be granted at that age
I believe it is 12 or older
Have a legal agreement drafted for discussion. Get it all in writing preferably before talking money
my 5 and 7 yr olds have been talked to in school without either parent being there to get their wishes...several times without the dates being known in advance....cafcass section 7 report for the court.
they were asked if they wanted teacher to stay with them.
their wishes have been reported to the court alongside the teenagers.
The reality for you is there is little you can do about this short term. If you disagree with her plans you will need to apply via family court for a child arrangement order which will take a long time, and in the meantime she will call the shots as their primary caregiver. You will probably need to attend mediation first and it would make sense to attend an SPIP course.
The road will be long and and expensive, no doubt she will have allegations of her own so it won't be pleasant at all.
Do you live together still or have you left the FMR? As soon as you leave she will dictate how much you can see the children.
Regardless of the age of the kids being the one who leaves often puts you on the back foot because the kids crave the familiar. Not fair but the way it is.
Who has been primary carer up to now? Have you been an active parent? If so just go for 50/50 and see where you end up. Just make sure that wherever you end up living is close enough to avoid disruption to school and other activities. If you are close enough to just go there the dynamic may well change as they get more independent.
The courts will often consider the child's best interest to be that things stay as similar as possible. Ignore what she is saying as much as you can. If she is talking rubbish it may make her feel better but a solicitor will soon put her right. My ex told the kids that he would just take me off the mortgage and put ds18 on without payment because I earned so little. Clearly that was just rubbish. Look after yourself and good luck...
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