You and your spouse have been working to put together a parenting plan that takes your child’s best interests into account. Unfortunately, there are some stumbling blocks and you’ve been unable to come up with a final solution.
At this point, you think that a good idea would be to work with your attorneys, so you can allow the professionals to discuss possible solutions without the continued conflicts you’re currently dealing with.
Since you’re both conflicted, you think that your child should get a say in the final parenting plan. Is that a good idea, though?
Should children get a say in their custody or parenting plan?
There can be some great reasons to have your child participate, at least minimally, in the parenting plan and custody agreement. For example, they may be able to tell you about specific concerns they have or detail their schedule better for you both. If they have a question or concerns about specific dates or times when you want to set up custody, they may draw attention to factors you hadn’t considered.
You should remember, though, that your child will not be there to make decisions. Your attorneys or a judge may want to hear what they have to say, but you and your spouse have the final say if you can make an agreement before going to court. If not, then a judge will be the one who decides what happens next.
What should you do if you decide to give your child some say in the parenting agreement?
If you decide to give your child a say, speak with your child to let them know that their input is needed but that they won’t be making any decisions on their own. Be prepared to stand your ground on specific arrangements that cannot be changed.
You may be nervous about having your child participate in your divorce, but in some cases, it is helpful to let them have at least some control or say in the outcome. Your attorney can talk to you more about the downsides and perks of having them present during at least one meeting.