Washington children who are going through a divorce have emotions of their own. Sometimes, the way that they are dealing with the divorce may cause them to want to live with one parent over the other. When the parents are approached, they need to have the conversation with the child very carefully.
Communication is always a good thing. Here, a parent must be careful not to overreact to the situation. It is easy to take something like this personally, but that will not help matters. As long as the child is respectful, the parent needs to listen to what their child has to say. It could be the start of a dialogue that leads to a better relationship. Children can and do change their minds once they are able to be heard.
When this happens, both parents should ideally be communicating with each other. A parent needs to be careful not to speak ill of the other parent to the child. It puts the child in the middle and can do even more harm to them. The parent can express how they feel if they are not overemotional about the situation. If the parent is struggling to handle things on their own, they should seek the advice of a therapist for how to deal with this.
A parent also needs legal help when there is a possible change in the custody agreement. This would mean that there is a court hearing in their future. A family law attorney may advise a parent how to deal with this situation legally. If a parent handles a change to the custody agreement poorly, it might harm their ability to maintain their full parental rights if the matter went in front of a judge.