Can a Child Choose Which Parent to Stay with Following a Divorce?

family law

Divorce can be one of the most heartbreaking moments of a child’s life. Every child wants to have a complete and happy family. However, this does not always happen in all households. Meanwhile, couples might divorce due to various reasons such as irreconcilable differences, infidelity, or domestic violence among a few.

In such cases, it is time to call a family lawyer in Denver, CO, to help estranged couples undergo the complicated process of divorce. Regardless of the reasons, divorce can have a major impact on the child. There are times wherein children may blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. This should not be the case, and they deserve to live a normal life even after their parents’ divorce.

Can a child choose which parent to stay with?


Following a divorce, the estranged couple would naturally live separately. This means the child will live with either one parent only. Visitation schedules will be made so that the child can spend time with the other parent. But at the end of the day, the child will go home and stay with the parents.

It may be another case if they have multiple children. For one thing, child custody can be a little complicated as compared to having one child only. However, the question is whether the child can choose which parent to live with. The answer: it depends.

This is because child custody laws may differ from state to state. Usually, a child below 18 cannot have the power to decide which parent to stay with. Instead, the court will decide on the child’s custodial parent or guardian. Once the child reaches the age of majority, which is usually 18 years old, he or she can decide which parent to stay with. Then again, it will depend on each state’s laws regarding child custody.

Still, children can still have the power to decide which parent to live with regardless of their age. However, it should depend on the parent’s capability to provide for the child’s physical, emotional, education, and medical needs. Joint custody is also another solution to obtain custody to a child even if the parents are already living separately. At the end of the day, the child’s welfare should be the priority following the parents’ divorce.

The parents’ role in raising their child after a divorce

Living life after a divorce can be challenging, more so for a child of divorced parents. It can even have an impact on the child, which should be paid attention to by parents. Among these effects include:

  • Stress and anxiety, as they may blame themselves for their parents’ divorce
  • Mood swings and social problems
  • Depression, which can be fatal if left ignored
  • Difficulty in maintaining relationships
  • Change in behavior
  • Addiction (e.g., alcohol, drugs, or other illegal substances)
  • Poor performance in school

Children should not suffer the aftermath of their parents’ divorce. That is why it is important for estranged parents to consider the welfare of their children. For one thing, the ex-spouses should work with each other to raise their children in a loving environment, even if they are no longer together. It may not be easy, but children deserve to live a normal and happy life until they reach adulthood.

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