October 17, 2010
Should Children of Divorce Be Forced to Live With a Particular Parent?
Many children are victims of divorce in the United States each year. The judicial system believes that, in each case, the child or children that are subjected to divorce should reside where the child(ren) would “be better off”, citing that living with one parent who provides a more stable atmosphere for the child(ren) would be more beneficial. Others believe that children who are subjected to divorce should be able to choose which parent they wish to live with. Many also wonder with divorces involving multiple children: Should we keep them together?
Many judges believe that a child’s voice or preference should not be heard because a child is too young to know what is best for him or her. In most states, the average age is 12 to 14 years for a child to verbally state their opinion on which parent they choose to live with; even then, the judge will not rely on that child’s opinion alone. A judge believes that a child’s preference is only one of many factors in determining which parent receives custody of the child. A judge considers which parent can provide a more stable home or atmosphere, and he or she may also consider which parent is able to earn more income.
I agree with many parents that believe their child(ren) have a voice that should be heard. Forty percent of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers. My parents divorced in 1986, when I was 6 years old. I didn’t fully understand what was happening at the time, but I also wasn’t able to choose which parent I wanted to live with. My brother and I were made to live with our mom, while our dad had visitation rights every other weekend until he moved to Ohio from West Virginia in 1989. My mom had started experimenting with drugs and illegal narcotics, even sometimes doing them right in front of me. I was extremely unhappy living with her, even though I...