Child Doesn’t Want to Live with a Parent
If a child doesn’t want to live with a parent after a divorce, the courts may take this into account when deciding a custody arrangement.
Will the courts take a child’s preference into account?
We’ve had a number of cases where a teenage child has expressed a desire to live with a non-parent, and the parents haven’t consented. In general, in New York, that is not going to be easy for the child to affect simply because if someone other than a parent is seeking custody of a child, they first have to prove that they even have the right to seek custody in family court. To have the right to seek custody or to have standing means that they must prove extraordinary circumstances. Some examples of extraordinary circumstances include abandoning a child or neglecting a child. Those are pretty extreme circumstances, and without those it would be very difficult for a non-parent to convince a court that they have a right to seek custody of the child. Even if they have proved that they have the right to seek custody, that doesn’t mean that they get custody, and a court would still have to determine what the child’s best interests were prior to awarding custody to a non-parent.
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