Why the Voice of the Children Can Often Have a Bearing During Separation

Posted on: 15 February 2018

In the aftermath of an acrimonious separation, the two individuals concerned can often feel as if they are at the centre of that particular universe. They may be embroiled in discussions or even arguments to determine "who gets what" and how the children are going to be cared for, going forward. A lot of factors need to be taken into consideration here, but aren't these individuals missing the point to a certain extent? Don't the views of the individual children need to be taken into account, as well?

Fair or Unfair?

Many people think that a child can only have any input into a legal decision when they are themselves past the age of maturity. However, the legal system will always consider the needs of the child to be paramount and it's quite possible that their view may be taken into consideration, depending on their level of maturity and ability to understand the developing situation.

Hearing their Voice

Separation is, of course, very difficult for any children and while some will tend to retreat due to the impact of it all, others will vocalise their particular opinion. They may well say that they would like to spend more time with a particular parent and this needs to be taken into account, given all the other circumstances.

Children's Viewpoint

More often than not, an existing home is also used as a "base" for one of the parents when separation is complete. This particular property could be very familiar to the child or children and they may well determine that they are "homesick" when they are not there. However, extra effort needs to be spent to develop a routine at the remote residence, so that the child thinks that they belong there, as well.

Of course, sometimes children can span a significant age range and this can present additional difficulties. In an ideal world it's best not to have separate arrangements for children based on their age, as it's important for them to engage together as much as possible, as well.

Avoid Unfair Influence

Each adult has to be very careful about this procedure and should not influence any of the children either consciously or otherwise, to try and get them to favour time with them. It's not unheard of for this type of practice to be engaged, but a family court is aware that this may happen and will be on the lookout.

Unravelling It All

Each situation is different and many factors have to be taken into account. It's very important for each adult to retain independent counsel with special experience in these matters, so that the best approach can be determined.

For more information, contact a local family lawyer.


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