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When does your child have a say in the custody agreement?

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2021 | Child Custody

Getting a divorce is never simple. While you intended for the relationship to last, it is not always best to stay together.

One of the biggest challenges for divorcing parents is deciding who will have custody and coordinating visitation time so that the children get to have time with both parents. Another challenge is when children have opinions about some of the details of the custody agreement.

Here’s what you should know about child custody in Minnesota and when the court will consider your child’s opinion.

Looking at maturity

In some states, the law will set a specific age or age range for when lawmakers consider a child old enough to have input on the child custody agreement. Minnesota is not one of those states.

Instead of a specific age, Minnesota judges look for factors that show a child is mature enough to express their input on the decision, such as the child’s reliability and independence.

No room for manipulation

Considering a child’s opinion for child custody does include the complex issue of parental manipulation. While most parents may not intentionally try to sway their child’s opinion, it may come in more subtle ways, such as:

  • Reminding the child, they will miss you when your spouse has custody
  • Buying the child more toys to have at your house
  • Granting privileges the other parent does not

Courts will look specifically for red flags like these and consequently give less consideration to the child’s opinion and look more closely at the objective best interest of the child.

When you are getting ready for a child custody hearing, it is essential to continue to support your child no matter what decision they make when the judge considers their opinion.

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