How much weight is a child’s opinion given regarding which parent he or she should live with? At what age does the court consider the child’s desires in a New Jersey custody case?

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How much weight is a child’s opinion given regarding which parent he or she should live with? At what age does the court consider the child’s desires in a New Jersey custody case?

It is determined on a case-by-case basis because children mature differently. There might be a 9-year-old who has a certain maturity level and is better able to express herself than some 12-year-olds, so the court takes a child’s maturity level into consideration.If the court decides to give weight to the child’s opinion, then he or she can be interviewed by the judge as requested by the parties, their respective attorneys, or via a custody evaluation done by a mental health professional. The child or children will be interviewed and the mental health professional will give a certain weight to their opinion depending on their maturity level and the circumstances of their particular case.

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