Child custody is often a difficult situation in court. It is completely normal for emotions to run high and to have disagreements. However, the court tries to focus on the children and make decisions that are in their best interests.
For this reason, the court may listen to your child’s wishes. According to the State Bar of Texas, the law does instruct judges to hold private interviews with children who are 12 years or older in custody cases. However, the judge makes the final decision, so your child may influence the decision, but he or she cannot make the decision.
The law keeps the final decision-making power with the judge. The judge can decide what evidence in the case he or she will consider, including any information he or she gets when interviewing your child. So, for this reason, it is highly possible that your child can influence the judge’s decision, especially if he or she is well-spoken and honest with the judge.
The court will also consider what your child wants when it comes to any parenting time, but, again, the judge makes the final decision in the matter. Family court judges understand children may not always see the big picture. A child who does not want to spend time with a parent due to that parent being strict and the other parent being more lenient would not influence the court as much as a legitimate concern, such as one parent never spends time with them while the other is always there.
The judge holds a lot of power in a child custody case, and that includes how much influence he or she allows your child to have on the final decision.