When you’re involved in a custody case for your children, you should know that teenagers can have special rules and rights surrounding them. Teenagers are better able to make decisions for themselves, and there might be certain circumstances that extend beyond the time they reach the age of 18. Knowing what to expect in a custody case can help put your mind at ease, so here are some things that you should understand about teenagers in custody cases in North Carolina.
Special rights and considerations
First of all, you should know that in child custody hearings, the child’s wishes are considered when determining placement. While many states, including North Carolina, will take the teenager’s wishes into consideration, judges won’t give placement to the chosen parent if it’s not actually in the child’s best interest. Additionally, courts might appoint an outside party to act in the teenager’s best interest.
There are also instances when the parent receiving child support will actually receive it after the child has turned 18 if the teenager is still in high school. This might happen up until the age of 20.
Other factors that determine placement
Although special factors are used to determine placement for a teenager versus a younger child, there are also many factors that overlap regardless of the age of the child. For instance, the employment status of each of the parents and the daily involvement of each parent in the child’s life are also determining factors.
The judge will also want to know how both parents communicate with each other. This won’t necessarily affect placement, but the judge will want to know that the parents are able to communicate well enough to coordinate schedules and make decisions that are in the best interest of the child. In addition, the judge will want to know the general picture of how split custody will work on a daily basis.
When you’re interested in finding a way of working out custody arrangements for your teenage child, it can help know what regular and special factors will determine how the placement will be determined. A family law attorney may help answer your questions.