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Children's custody preferences carry more weight as they grow up

You and your spouse got divorced when your kids were both under 4 years old. They were not old enough to really have a say in where they wanted to live, so you and your spouse reached an agreement that let the children stay with you most of the time, visiting your ex on the weekends.

Now your children are both in their teens. They still live with you, and you just assumed that the order was binding until they turned 18. However, they have been talking about wanting to see your ex more and hoping to live with him or her more often.

Can your children and your ex now ask the judge to issue a new order? Or do you have the upper hand because you had custody for so long?

The reality is that the court can reconsider the custody arrangement. You have a right to keep your kids at your house, but your ex also has a right to ask to update the plan.

If your children go to the court and say that they also want to change the plan, that may sway the decision significantly. After all, as the kids grow up, courts begin to give their preferences more weight. Your teenage children are clearly old enough to have a say in the matter.

That does not mean the change is definitely going to happen. The court considers many factors. But you need to know that this is not going to be the same as it was when they were little kids.

Any time you end up back in court, be sure you fully understand your parental rights.

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