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Divorce and the Choice of the Child Essay

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Updated: May 9th, 2022

Introduction

It is quite interesting to note that while divorce has been a topic that has been extensively covered and reviewed by family law, in terms of guardianship, visitation rights, as well as the responsibility of the mother/father; very little has been done to encompass aspects related to the choice of the child when it comes to the terms agreed upon by both parents during the divorce proceedings. In the case of two individuals having a child together then subsequently having a divorce, it is usually the prerogative of the court to ensure that a child is placed in the best possible environment for growth and development or with the parent that has shown to have the best possible intentions of the child at heart and has the means of ensuring that they are given a proper home. Yet, it has been increasingly prevalent within the past few years that children involved in divorce proceedings are of advanced ages (10 to 12) with some even in their teen years (14 – 17).

The capability of Making a Decision

Children of advanced ages are usually in possession of a more mature way of thinking and, as such, can be thought to have the capability to make sound and rational decisions. However, despite them being capable of making such types of decisions, family law fails to properly encompass their thoughts on the divorce of their parents and where they stand on the matter in terms of which parent they should go to, the terms of their other parent’s visitation rights based on their affection for that individual as well as other such factors that they are directly involved in. Since they are impacted by divorce and are usually one of the most important factors in it, their opinions should count and should not be unilaterally set aside based on what either parent has decided or what the courts have decided based on their review of the case.

Reform

It is based on this that a proper reform of this area of family law involves a court-mandated examination of the child of the various terms of the divorce that is directly applicable to them. This should only be done based on a child being within a particular age range and possessing a mental capacity capable of understanding the terms as they are being presented. The child in question will then examine and determine whether such terms are acceptable or in need of revision based on how they apply to his/her present case. Such revisions can apply to which parent he/she goes to, the visitation rights of the other parent, as well as other such matters as deemed applicable by the court. By enacting this particular type of reform into family law, not only does this result in a better application of the law but it also ensures that the rights of a child to decide how his/her future is impacted by the divorce are taken into consideration.

Conclusion

Based on my experience with family law, I have to state that while the rights of children are often emphasized in various applications of the law, they are strangely limited when it comes to divorce when they should not be. This is due to the fact that the long-term impact of divorce proceedings on a child’s future makes it so that if they have the capacity of making a decision on what is best for them, their input should be valued and accorded to a certain degree of importance.

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IvyPanda. "Divorce and the Choice of the Child." May 9, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/divorce-and-the-choice-of-the-child/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Divorce and the Choice of the Child." May 9, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/divorce-and-the-choice-of-the-child/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Divorce and the Choice of the Child'. 9 May.

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