Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.
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Posts tagged "custody factors"

Child's Opinion in Custody

Any custody award in Pennsylvania is to be based on the best interests of the child. Section 5328 of the Domestic Relations statue lays out 15 factors to be considered when awarding custody in addition to any relevant factor. One of enumerated factors is "the well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child's maturity and judgment." Accordingly, there is no magic age at which a child is permitted to give their opinion on custody. Instead, the court weighs the child's opinion and generally gives it more weight as the child is older. Children mature at different paces and perhaps the weight to be given to a 10 year old's opinion could be greater than a 13 year old's opinion. I think it is safe to assume teenagers are able to give a reasoned preference, will be permitted to do so, and that opinion would carry some weight.

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