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OTHER ITA SITES:
Child Custody Rights - Legal Options For Children
Sometimes lost in a custody dispute are the rights entitled to the children. While parents can freely bicker back and forth about custodial rights, the child is not always given the opportunity to voice their opinion. The court system began to take notice of this fact in the mid-eighties, and since then has implemented various protective measures to insure the childís desires are considered.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court created a comprehensive list of guidelines for considering child custody rights. This resource was later accepted and upheld within each of the state court systems. Here is an overview of the rights it provides to the children:
-A child has a right to continue his or her relationship with each parent and receive care, guidance, and support from each as needed.
-The child is entitled to maintain regular contact with a non-custodial parent as well as a full explanation for any changes or cancellations in visitation schedules.
-A child has the right to have their ideas, feelings, and opinions considered in all discussions surrounding their welfare. This means they should not be treated as an item or bargaining chip in any aspect of the divorce settlement.
-A child has the right to freely express their love, friendship, or adoration for each parent. They should never feel ashamed or afraid to share these feeling around the other parent. Each parent also has an obligation to respect the love and emotion that the child displays for the other parent.
-The child is entitled to an explanation of the cause for the divorce and a reassurance that it was not the fault their fault. They should also not be the source of, or blamed for, any argument that arises between the parents.
-A child should never be wrongly influenced by a parent for the purpose of manipulating the childís view of the other parent. This includes lying about the activities of the other parent or forcing the child to make decisions that are designed to negatively affect the other parentís relationship with the child.
This is a sample of the child custody rights upheld by custody courts across the nation. In addition to these rights, the courts also takes into account the living situations offered by both parents when awarding custody. Judges can also utilize interview sessions and independent investigators to determine the childís preference with custodial rights and visitation frequency.
It is important for children to recognize that they do have a voice in the custody rights. Unfortunately, these rights are not always explained to the children or are distorted by vindictive parents. The court system has come a long way in recent years to protect child custody rights, but the consistent support of the parents and family members is always preferred.
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