Did you know that in California there is no specific age where family law courts will consider the wishes of a child in deciding which parent they might desire to live with in custody matters. Right now the issue is covered by Family Code §3042, whereby the courts are required to consider and give due weight to a child’s preference regarding custody if the child is deemed to be of such a sufficient age and capacity to be able to form an intelligent opinion on the issue.
But that’s all about to change.
Commencing January 1, 2012, California AB 1050 will amend the family code by adding that the judge must also consider the child’s wishes re visitation. This amendment further adds that a child who is at least 14 years of age must be allowed to directly address the court regarding custody and visitation issues, unless the judge finds that it would not be in the child’s best interests to do so, whereby the reasons must be stated on the record.
Finally, the California Legislature has come to its senses in realizing that children are people too. But they are never adults – and should never be treated as such.