Teens suffer so much anxiety before addressing the court about custody that they may never forget the experience. Here’s how judges and family lawyers can help.
Time was when a child went through a teenage rite of passage with the elders of his or her clan. Such a rite of passage might have included learning a prayer, an important dance, or going off into the woods on a solo adventure/journey.
In modern times, the rite of passage has increasingly been one in which kids come to the courthouse to talk to judges about their living situations. Most judges don’t blatantly ask the children with whom they might like to live, but they will ask them a variety of other questions about who does the majority of the parenting and with whom they have the closest feelings of warmth and love; some judges might just ask a child where they prefer to live as well.
Teens Addressing the Court: Sufficient Age and Capacity to Reason
The CA Family Code, section 3042, is not unlike the code sections of many other states. It requires that the Court hear from a 14-year-old child regarding their preferences (assuming they want to state a preference) and may allow a child under 14 to state a preference, either in Court or to another person the Court appoints.
California Family Code Section 3042 (a) requires that: “If a child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation, the court shall consider, and give due weight to, the wishes of the child in making an order granting or modifying custody or visitation.”
(To read full article click the link below)