During your divorce, you and your spouse will have to work together to sort out your personal affairs—and that includes making a determination about where your kids will live. Your kids will probably have their own ideas about where they’d prefer to spend most of their time; unfortunately, they might not pick you.

Your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer can give you legal advice that’s specifically tailored to your case, and you’ll be able to make the best decisions for your family when you’re armed with the right knowledge. While children don’t necessarily get to decide where they live, the courts will always consider the best interests of the child(ren).

“My Kids Don’t Want to Live with Me.”

Every case is unique, but kids who choose one parent over the other sometimes have similar reasoning. If living with you means they must leave friends, other family or beloved pets behind, be prepared for them to want to stay put. Kids—even mature teens—tend to lend more importance to “right now” than they do to the big picture, according to many psychologists.

Other reasons your child may prefer living with your ex might include:

  • The perception that they will have more freedom. Kids are smart, and they always know which parent is more lenient. Couple that with a teen’s natural desire for independence and you may have to deal with a child who chooses to live with your ex.
  • Anger with you or placing the blame for the divorce on you. No matter who’s “at fault,” your child might blame just one of you as a coping mechanism. By making one parent the scapegoat, your child can avoid feeling let down or disappointed by both of you.
  • A dislike for your new significant other. Your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer has probably advised you not to date until your divorce is over. If you’ve started a new relationship, your child might resent your partner and see him or her as an intruder (and that can be true long after a divorce, as well).

Don’t Give Up on Your Child

As much as it hurts when your child chooses to live with your ex, don’t allow it to affect your relationship. Instead, take special care to maintain it. Watch for signs of parental alienation, visit when you’re supposed to and make phone calls, Skype or use FaceTime whenever you can.

If you feel like you’re not getting enough time with your child, or if you’re concerned your relationship is suffering, call your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer. He or she might be able to work out new details in your child custody agreement that strengthen your bond, and in the end, that’s what matters most.