Does a child get to have a say in custody arrangements in Colorado?

In Colorado, it is likely that your child will be able to express their wishes regarding child custody in court. Your child’s wishes are going to be considered, but that doesn’t mean that they will get the final say.

Children who are getting older may start to express their wishes more often. Here’s what you should know if they want to have a say in their custody arrangements.

When does your child get a say in child custody arrangements?

Normally, children get to make their preferences known as soon as they are mature enough to have an independent opinion. For some children, that may be when they’re 10 or 11. For others, they may need to be a young teen. There is no specific age requirement set by the state of Colorado.

That does mean that there is no guarantee that a judge will consider a child’s wishes. In the end, in issues that are contentious, it’s up to the judge to decide on a resolution.

Will your child have to testify in court?

When your child is going to express their wishes, it’s normal for a judge to hear them in their chambers. The reason for this is that it can be stressful for a child to make their wishes known when their mom or dad is present. Additionally, the judge will want to be sure that there is no immediate influence on what the child tells them.

What should you do if your child expresses their wishes to you?

If your child expresses where they want to live to you and your spouse, you should talk over what their wishes are. However, it’s not up to them to make that decision on their own. You and the other parent should discuss what works best in your circumstances and if their wishes are realistic. If you’re comfortable with what they want, you can have your attorney write up a custody plan and submit it to the court.

Your attorney will work closely with you during your divorce, so that you can get the help you need with custody arrangements, your parenting plan and other issues that may be contentious.