When you and your spouse decided that a divorce was the right way to move forward, you knew that it could be complicated with your teens. Both are just about old enough to drive, and you know that they’re going to be opinionated.
That worries you because you want to make sure that you and your spouse set up a custody plan that works for you and allows you and your spouse to take care of your children appropriately. Even though they’re getting older, your children still need to be under your supervision. You don’t want your children thinking that they’re in control during the divorce or that they will necessarily get their way.
You should know that the laws in Massachusetts allow children to assert their preferences in custody cases. However, their preferences won’t outweigh what their parents and the court believes to be the best arrangement for them. In New Hampshire, there is a point when the court may allow a child to decide which home they want to live in.
It’s often best to avoid forcing your children to do what you want without any discussion. Instead, take this opportunity to talk with them about where they think they want to live and why. Perhaps one child wants to live with their father because of being close to school and the other wants to live with their mother because of friends who live nearby. Whatever the reasons are, it’s a good idea for you to listen and to try to work in your children’s preferences as you set up a schedule that considers your responsibilities, work and other factors.