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Porter Ramsay Blog

Family law: When a child wants to spend more time with one parent

Family situations can get complicated after divorce. When children are a part of the equation, there are many things divorcing parents need to iron out, like child custody. There are guidelines in place in British Columbia under family law; however, when children become old enough, they may begin to assert their desires about which parent they would like to spend more time with, and that might be with the alternate parent — the one who doesn’t have the children most often.

If there is a co-parenting plan in place, parents could choose to modify that plan if the child’s desires are in his or her best interests. It might be prudent to have a mediator weigh in on the issue if parents can’t come to some mutually agreeable consensus. If these situations are ignored, experts say ill will could continue to fester and create problems. The best outcome is likely to occur when both parents discuss the situation in a spirit of goodwill and remain open to possible change. 

As children grow and mature, custody and visitation may need to be revised anyway. Children who spend time in two households may prefer spending time with one parent more than another, and that often has to do with gender issues, experts suggest. When parents communicate having the best intentions of their child at heart, change can actually be a good thing, and a child will continue to have a positive relationship with both parents.

A British Columbia lawyer experienced in family law may be able to help a client looking to modify a custody agreement. A lawyer may be able to make recommendations based on a client’s personal situation. In any case, a lawyer will always act in what he or she believes to be in the best interests of children.