Child Custody: Your Child’s Age and Sex Could Count

Among the most interesting elements that a court considers when awarding custody of children is the age and sex of the child. When children are very young, this factor is not so important. After all, a baby’s main interest is to be fed and kept reasonably clean. However, an older child’s preferences are more likely to be based on experience.

A young child’s preference may be to live with the parent who bribed him last. If Dad just bought you a new bike or computer game, he may be mistaking your best interests for the momentary pleasure of receiving the gift. However, an older child may have genuine reasons for preferring the home of one parent to that of another. The court’s job in this case is to decide whether the preference is based on genuine concerns or is a reflection of the child’s agenda. For example, if your fourteen-year-old daughter wants to live with Dad, because she knows he will give her boyfriend more access, a judge will not find her thoughts on the subject as compelling as an observation such as “Dad helps me with my homework to get good grades “.

Other factors in a child’s emotional makeup can influence where he should live most of the time. If a boy is closer to dad and shares his interests, he better have the masculine guidance that only a man can offer. A daughter may feel more secure having another woman to help her navigate as a child approaching womanhood. On the contrary, if the child is closer to the father of the opposite sex, he might have a better chance of achieving a well-balanced adult life with that father.

The maturity level of the child is also important to a judge exploring this factor. A 10-year-old who has seen the lives of his parents and can make legitimate observations about their qualities and actions will be much more credible to a divorce judge than a 15-year-old who is failing in school and prefers to spend his time Playing. computer games and hanging out with friends.

In the end, the issue of a child’s sex and age is not the only, or even the most important, issue for a judge deciding child custody to consider. There are other aspects of a parent’s life that also indicate that the child would be better off in that parent’s custody. However, the older a child is, the more likely it is that his preferences and ability to better relate to a parent with whom he will establish his primary home can influence his final custody location. Thus, in the case of a particular child, his age and sex could be very relevant to where he ends up establishing his home.

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