Dr. Warshack states in an article in the San Diego Tribune: The scene in the movie “Catch Me If You Can” resonates with people who grew up in divorced homes. Sixteen-year-old Frank Abagnale Jr., played by Leonardo DiCaprio, learns that his parents’ marriage has hit the skids and they ask him to write down where he wants to live. “Just put the name there,” the adults tell the child, “It’s as simple as that. Don’t look so scared.” Horrified, Frank runs away rather than exercise this child’s version of “Sophie’s Choice.”
Even more horrifying is that California is posed to make this scene a reality for children 10 years of age or older.
This month, the Legislature will consider AB 2098, a bill to amend the Family Code that governs custody disputes. The proposed law will allow parents to drag their fourth-grade children to the courthouse to tell the judge where they want to live. The court must give the child an audience unless it can state its reasons for determining that doing so is not in the child’s best interests.
Giving children a strong voice in custody decisions seems enlightened. Champions of children’s rights speak of “empowering” children. Children crying out for protection from abuse must be heard. But there is a world of difference between giving children a voice and giving children a choice that they are ill-prepared to shoulder. Read More: Making kids choose not wise in custody battles
Here is an article from Stout Law Firm on the same topic.