What happens if children have different custody preferences?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Divorce |

Custody determinations are complex because they involve sensitive emotional stakes, legal complexities and an evaluation of the facts and circumstances, which can vary widely based on individual family dynamics.

However, custody determinations can get even more complicated if siblings want different custody arrangements. In these cases, how do courts address the clash among children?

The weight of a child’s preference

If there are multiple children in a household and they have different custody preferences, the court can take those preferences into account, but will do so as part of a whole since a child’s preference is only one of the many factors considered in a custody case.

Courts also consider the parents’ overall health, ability to provide a stable and nurturing environment and other relevant factors. If after a careful evaluation of the factors and the children’s best interests, the court finds that their preferences hold less or no weight, the differing preferences may no longer be an issue.

The main priority in custody cases

In Illinois, as in other states, courts consider the child’s best interests when determining custody arrangements. If the court finds that an arrangement aligning with both children’s preferences is in their best interests, it can order custody according to those terms. On the other hand, if it finds that following only one child’s preference would be best, then it will pursue that arrangement.

Moving forward with your custody case

If you are dealing with a child custody case, it can benefit you to seek advice from a compassionate family law attorney who can provide guidance specific to your situation. This will allow you to make informed decisions when you have to while maintaining your expectations as to the outcome of your custody case.