For many children, watching their parents divorce may prove emotionally taxing and difficult, and, depending on your child’s age, he or she may have strong opinions about where to live after the split. Should you give your child a chance to voice his or her preferences with regard to which parent to live with, or is this a decision that might be better left to the courts?

According to Psychology Today, you may be able to make the transition easier on your children by allowing them a say as to who they live with and when. However, your child’s age may play a role in just how much of a voice he or she has in this area.

Custody and younger children

If your son or daughter is under 10, for example, it may serve him or her well to spend time living in both parents’ homes. This gives your child an opportunity to see where he or she excels and feels happiest, and it also helps him or her see that both parents have a desire to maintain an active presence in the child’s life.

Custody and older children

As children grow older, they often want more control over their environments. Your child may find that he or she winds up spending a lot of time alone at one parent’s home, or that one parent is more likely to help with homework and the like than the other. Anything like this has the potential to influence your child’s desires when it comes to where to live.

As someone navigating a divorce, you may be feeling all kinds of emotions, but try not to let them cloud your judgment. Instead, keep in mind that your child’s feelings are most critical and that you should be able to maintain a strong relationship with your child if it is important to you, regardless of where he or she lives.