When navigating child custody, emotions can run high. You and your spouse have a lot to discuss, including visitation, school schedules and your respective desires when it comes to taking care of your children.
Another aspect to consider, either in mediation or with the help of North Carolina courts, is the preference of the children.
Children’s testimonies in custody cases
North Carolina does not have a specific age established where they will or will not take into consideration a child’s wishes. According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch, a parent may bring in a child to testify in court or speak with the judges in a separate room.
Should the courts deem the child has reached an appropriate age of discretion, they will take their preference into consideration. Testimonies on specific incidences of abuse or preferences based on good judgment may sway a ruling.
Your children’s best interests
The older your children are, the more likely their preferences have more weight in a case. Though if they prefer your spouse because he or she lacks discipline and lets them get away with things, that may not be in your children’s best interests.
When it comes to securing the child custody that suits your needs, it is important to get all the information you can. Presenting to the courts that you have the responsibility and preferences of your children all go a long way to helping your case.
Your priority is doing what is best for your children and there are resources available to help you learn more about your specific case and how to pursue that.