While not necessarily a law, a kids’ bill of rights is generally applicable in child custody cases. A Plano family law attorney can help you with the specifics of your case and the rights of both you and your child under the circumstances of your divorce.
Why is there a kids’ bill of rights?
The idea behind a bill of rights for children is that divorce is not the fault of the child and the child should not be held responsible for the proceedings in any way. Furthermore, in most cases, both parents are important to the child’s wellbeing regardless of how the child custody battle plays out.
In custody disputes, it is easy to slip into language that treats the child like an object or a commodity who can be used as a bargained chip. A Plano Family Law Attorney will be happy to help you draft a copy of a bill of rights so that your children do not suffer this specific type of objectification.
This bill of rights has been used to maintain the idea that divorce only ends the parents’ commitment to one another; it does not end their commitment to the child. These goals are very important and both parents are generally expected to follow them. A Plano Family Law Attorney may assist with cases in which the other parent is ‘violating’ one of the points, as it may affect the case in some cases.
Example of a Kids’ Bill of Rights that a Plano Family Law Attorney May Draft
Again, there is no standard kids’ bill of rights in child custody proceedings, but the basic idea behind each bill of rights is consistent. In a divorce proceeding, the child should have the right:
- not to used as a spy or source of information about the other parent;
- not to be a conduit of communication between the parents, as the different Plano Family Law Attorneys will handle this;
- not to be subject to negativity about the other parent;
- not to be subject to complaints pertaining to child support, custody, etc.;
- not be expected to deal with these ‘adult issues’ to the same degree as the parents;
- not to have to side with one parent over the other;
- to visit the non-custodial parent and maintain a relationship with him or her; and
- to be given all types of support – economic, educational, psychological, spiritual, and so on.
There are not rules set in stone, but are general guidelines by which many courts and parents abide when handling child custody cases.
Spotlight on Kids’ Bill of Rights: The Right Not to Testify
Most kids’ bills of rights further state that children of any age should not be forced to testify in custody proceedings. A child should not have to declare which parent he or she would like to live with after the divorce. However, if the child does have a preference, he or she can make that preference known to the judge, and the preference may or may not have an effect on the child custody arrangements.
The preference of children over 12 years old may be considered by the judge when making a custody decision. Again, children cannot make a final decision about which parent with whom they’d like to live, and the preference may not impact the legal decision.
Finding a Plano Family Law Attorney
You may know what is in the best interests of your child, but without someone who is familiar with family law in your area, you may have a hard time demonstrating your case in court. Contact a Plano family law attorney at Warren & Migliaccio, Attorneys at Law, for a free consultation about your case. Call us today at: 1-888-584-9614 if you have questions about your child custody case or the kids’ bill of rights that can’t be answered by our FREE ebook, Untying the Knot.