How much say should teens have in their parents’ divorce?

On behalf of Peterson Stark Scott posted in Divorce on October 9, 2018.

Teenagers usually have very definitive thoughts about things and are at an age where they like to assert their feelings. But when a teen’s parents divorce, should he or she have a say in what transpires in the process? One British Columbia Court of Appeal judge thinks not, at least in one particular case.

A 17-year-old female was denied the chance to voice her opinion in her parents’ contentious divorce. She told the media she doesn’t understand the ruling since no one can make her do anything she doesn’t want to do, including going to counselling. Since 2003 when the couple divorced, the young woman’s father has seen very little of her, accusing her mother of alienating his daughter from him.

A court psychologist suggested that the father and daughter work on restoring their relationship, but since her father was in and out of her life, she had no desire to establish an ongoing relationship with him. She said she felt intimidated by the judge she talked to about what she wanted — a judge, she said, who told her she was brainwashed by her mother. The young woman took issue with that, saying that her mother always told her she was free to visit her father and that her mother never said anything disparaging about her father.

A family law lawyer in British Columbia might be able to offer advice to young adults in similar circumstances. When parents divorce, it’s always hard on the children. It may even be harder for those children who are older and feel they’re not being heard.

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