The other parent has threatened to take me back to Court because our child now says they want to live with the other parent. What should I do?
Although the Court shall consider a child's preference, the Court is not bound to make orders solely on that preference. If the Court finds that the child's preference conflicts with what is in the best interest of the child, the Court will not make orders in line with the preference but against the child's best interest.
For example, assume a child says that they hate one parent and will run away if that parent gets custody over them, and they are going to tell the judge they want to live with the other parent. If the Court discovers that one parent bribed/enticed the child to make that statement or promised the child they could have their boyfriend or girlfriend have sleepovers if they come stay with that parent, the Court will not make orders consistent with the child's preference. Alternatively, if the Court discovers that the child is excelling in school, is well behaved, and is doing well, the Court will likely give more weight to the child's preference. If you believe your child’s preference conflicts with their best interest, please don’t hesitate to contact Covina attorney Paul Eads today.