When the parents cannot agree on custody or visitation, the court decides for them. Courts consider many different factors to determine custody. One of them is the child’s preference if the child is old and mature enough to understand the situation and make a decision. If your child is old enough, the judge will not interview your child in the courtroom during the custody hearing. Instead, they will talk to them privately in the court chambers.
The law in Virginia states that the judge can interview the child in the court chambers without the presence of their parents. That way, the child is not pressured or afraid to talk frankly. A court reporter may record the interview unless the parents agree otherwise. In the interview, the judge will ask the child about their relationship with each parent and their preference. Afterward, the judge will examine the child’s statements and determine who will get custody of the child based on the child’s best interest.
Your child’s best interests
The court will listen to what your child has to say, but they will also consider both you and your ex’s circumstances to determine the custody order. The court will order whatever they think will benefit your child in the future. However, you should get help preparing for the proceeding to help improve your chances of getting custody of your child. Your child is your whole world, and you have the right to fight for them in court.