Although the child’s best interest plays a decisive role in making a court decision about custody, it is commonly unclear which parent would be able to provide the best for the child.
Since the well-being of the child is prioritized, it is only natural for a judge to ask the child about their desire to stay with one of the parents. However, it is ambiguous since multiple factors might interfere with the expressed desire.
Firstly, the contradictory emotional burden on the situation might negatively influence the child’s decision. Secondly, one of the parents might force a child to choose them. Thirdly, the child might not be of an appropriate age to express their true desire.
Moreover, multiple cases have shown that the desires expressed by children were not seriously considered due to the implications of other more decisive factors, such as the parents’ living and financial situation and capacity to parent.
However, despite the probability of the child’s desire being of no relevance to the court’s decision in light of other factors, the judge should ask the child about their preferences to consider when deciding.