Kids of divorced parents… Can we PLEASE have a say?

By Jena Burkey

Kids all over America are struggling to be happy in their homes where divorce and other unstable family structures are occurring every day. After kids turn a certain age they should be able to have influence in the decision of where they must live until they are of the legal age 18.

If kids are unhappy with their living situation and want to change it, their voice should be heard. Adults believe kids are not able to make decisions on their own, that they are not capable of knowing what they want. The truth is that kids are the only ones that know what they truly want.

There are many kids in Loy Norrix that struggle with this very issue. Kids need to speak up to be heard. There is no reason for children of divorced parents to suffer and be unhappy with their living arrangements until they are out of high school on their own.

When in a situation of divorce and faced with the question of custody, the friend of the court looks at many different aspects such as affection and bonds between the child and the parents, the parents’ ability to provide necessities for the child such as food, clothing and shelter and the child’s safety. If the child is of a sufficient age the court may consider allowing the child to have input on the living situation.
If you are 15 years or older, you should be allowed by law to have a say in your living situation. Kids have preferences and those preferences should be expressed and considered by the friend of the court.
In most situations, kids do not get any say in anything and the parents forget it’s about the child, not the parents. Custody rights should be discussed in the family before presented to the court. If the child had a voice in custody rights, it may make the divorce easier on the child rather than be tossed from parent to parent like a rag doll.

The friend of the court may not always know what is best for the family and the child because they do not know what life is like at home. The parents may think everything is just fine, when in reality the child is suffering and very unhappy.

If the child wants to live with the other parent, it should be considered. The other parent could be a better provider for their child, or the child could be suffering mental or physical abuse. The situation is usually worsened if the parents do not get along and set the other parent up for failure leaving the child in a difficult situation.

You never know the real story. Give kids a voice in the world to express their preferences and then honor it.