After divorce in Maryland, your child may have their own thoughts about whom they want to live with on a daily basis. You should discuss this with your child, but you need to be careful. Here is some advice when your child tells you that they want to change the living arrangement.
It is important to communicate
When your child says that they want to live with only one parent, communication is key. It is important to talk to your child and hear what they have to say. You should make the other parent aware of what is happening and include them in the conversation. This is even more important if your child wants to live with you as opposed to the other parent. However, this communication needs to happen based on predetermined ground rules where your child must be civil to both parents.
Never avoid the conversation
This may be a difficult conversation, especially if your child does not want to live with you, but it must be had and not avoided. You should be prepared to hear what your child has to say and not take it personally. Moreover, you can never speak ill of the other parent to the child.
You must recognize that communication can change the child’s point of view, so just because they say something today, talking it out could address their concerns. The best thing that you can do in this situation is to be open-minded and ready to listen.
In some cases, the child’s clear preference may mean that you need to go to court to argue for or against a change to the custody agreement. Often, the best thing to do is to address the situation without the need for a court hearing. A family law attorney may help your situation by giving you ideas for how to handle the proceedings. If the matter does go to court, the attorney might argue your case in front of the judge.