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Resolved: Child's consent should be required for parent's divorce

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/15/2015 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 770 times Debate No: 70109
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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Currently, due to the increasing divorce rate, more and more children are being victimized. As a solution, many people think that asking for children's consent will solve the problem. However, there are some parents who are willing to divorce, but are not able to do so, simply because of their children. Contrary to the popular belief, I believe that agreement of children in order to divorce for parents is unnecessary, and the three reason why I support this claim are about immaturity, nature of children, and the parental rights.
First of all, children are still immature, regardless of their age. Not to mention young children that they are not mature, even if the children reaches the age of adolescent, they might be physically mature. However, they are never mentally mature. A clear example will be rights to vote. There is no single country that offers voting power to someone besides adult. This can evidently show that even children at age of 17 are still not completely mentally mature, and there is some likelihood that they will not make the correct choice. As it is shown in the example, the same thing might occur with divorce. There is no certainty that the mentally immature children would make the correct and proper decision.
Second, regardless of what situation it is, the nature of the children would let the children choose not divorcing. In other words, consent of children is meaningless and ineffective. As many studies such as experiment of Goodall on chimpanzee, have indicated that every single child have instinct not to leave his or her parent, and hoping to be protected, by having a harmonious family. In order to maintain the family harmonious, the children would rather choose to let their parents stay together, and there is no use of giving right if the choice is already determined. Furthermore, actually way more psychological harm could be exerted on children in this stage than during the divorce. That is because the literal relationship and the shape of family remains, and the parent will still need to get together, and there will be much more conflict, and family trouble. Before we consider how to reduce the divorce, the actual problem is not at divorce, since it is a natural occurrence just as marriage, but the cause for the divorce, mainly the family trouble is what it needs to be solved. But, asking for compliance of children with divorce will simply just lower the figure of the divorce rate, and never solve or even, indeed, worsen the family trouble.
Finally, right to divorce is a component of the parental rights, and these will be demonstrated by viewing right to divorce into 3 unique perspective. The first view of the right is about the main body. Evidently, the main body, or the subject of divorce is parent, the two individuals. Some may argue that since children are also family members, they also are the subjects of divorce. However, this statement totally contradicts the definition of divorce, which is an action to quit the status of the relationship of marriage. In other words, it is finishing husband-wife relationship, not father-mother-son-daughter relationship. Now, it is clear that divorce is something to do with parents, not their children. Furthermore, I do know and admit that children do have right to speak out, but still the right of the main body should be prioritized, and should not be interfered, or even violated by the secondary body. The second perspective is considering divorce as a opposite concept of marriage. It is evident that those two terms are just the opposite. Now, we have to bear in mind that the right to marry is at two individuals, who eventually become parent. Then, we could easily get the conclusion from here that also the right to divorce should be offered to the two individuals. It is illogical to give someone rights to establish the relationship, and then not to give the one rights to quit the relationship. The last view is about duty-rights relationship. Those two always come together. If the duty or responsibility is given, rights and freedom to do certain activity is also provided, and the opposite case is also the same. Once parents' duty is to be responsible for to stabilize and maintain the family, they are also provided with rights to determine the existence of relationship of husband-wife or even the total family.
Since children are immature, their nature will still make themselves veto, and it is right of parents to divorce, I strongly disagree with requiring for consent of children in order to divorce.


One factor is age. The older the children, the more weight should probably be given to what they say. It is unlikely that a child younger than seven or eight would be asked for input. The opposite is true for an adolescent.

Another factor to consider is the child"s maturity level, which may not match his/her chronological age.

A third factor is the quality of the relationship between each parent and each child. If the overall family relationships are positive and relatively conflict-free, children's input can be both valuable and unlikely to invite retribution from a parent or loyalty issues from the children. On the other hand, if the relationship between a child and a parent, or between the two parents, has been contentious, the input may be tainted by fears and otherconsiderations that are more about the family"s dynamics than about the best interests of the child.

An additional factor to consider is the child"s temperament. A resilient child who copes well is likely to be able to add significant information. Children who are having a hard time adjusting may be more likely to have a view of the situation that is torqued by anger, by wishful thinking or by having become a mouthpiece for one or the other parent.

One concept that can be helpful is to distinguish between concerns and solutions. It may virtually always be helpful if children can voice their concerns. Poposing solutions, by contrast, is where loyalty and safety issues are most likely to be potential difficulties.

It is important for parents to be clear about how the children"s input will be utilized.

Do parents want to give the children the ultimate authority to decide? In most instances this strategy is imappropriate as it invites collapsed hierarchy, that is, a hierarchy in which the children run the family.

At the same time, mature adolescents sometimes know best what will work for them. They also may benefit from being able to initiate adjustments in the arrangement as changes evolve in what they need from each parent or in their school schedules.

Do parents want to present a proposed parenting time schedule and use their children's input to fine-tune it?

Do parents want to elicit information about their children's underlying concerns? Would they like to seek ideas from their children about possible parenting plan solutions? If so it can be important to clarify to children from the outset that in addition to their concerns and solution ideas, both parents' concerns plus input from divorce professionals all will be factored in to the eventual solution.

Finally, it's important to clarify to the children who will make the decisions: for instance, will the decision be made by a judge? by the parents themselves with a rubber stamp from the court system? oby the parents with the help of a mediator? If children know in advance that the decision is not in their parents' hands alone, they are less likely to blame a parent for a plan that displeases them.

In conclusion, if the marriage is breaking down and the relationship is flawed but the child want the marriage to continue, then unfortunately this would make a very unhappy and angry world.
Debate Round No. 1


My opponent provided 4 factors to consider. The factor of age is very obvious. Of course, a baby would not have any right to veto divorce between parents. Thus, I would like to define the word "child" as child who is at least 11 years old. Second factor, maturity, is a considerable point, but is also a problematic point. Some children are so mentally mature that they could be even called as young Confucius or young Socrates. On the contrary, some are not only mentally immature, but often makes problem, and is not temperate. Well, everyone knows that, but how would you define the standard of maturity. The problem of building the standard of maturity seems to be not working. It is very hard to objectively cut a straight line between the mature and the immature. How would you legally define whether someone is mature or not, and empower with them the right to pass or veto the divorce? If it was possible, then it would make all those divorce decision would be ideal. Unfortunately, we could not clearly cut the line of maturity with an mental test, school grade, or even IQ test. Same logic should be adapted with the factor of relationship and temperament. We can not define the standard, by any means.

Since, unlike age, other factors that my opponent gave me are all unable to clearly decide the standard, I would not define the children, as those who are mature, temperate, and having good relationship with parent. Well, if we are talking about all children generally, we will have to face a huge risk. Risk is often expressed as product of probability and damage. Well, this time, both are high. Obvious one first. The damage of wrong decision of allowance for divorce will make serious psychological harm to the child, parent, and the family. Due to one wrong choice of an individual, 3 or more lives have to suffer metal hardship. In the case, where the child vetoed the divorce, what if the parent retries to divorce? Those who made an unwise choice, might make another unwise choice again, even if they suffered from metal hardness. They can be so stubborn, which is not rare among those un-temperate children. Even if the family relationship is very bad, they might still want to retain the family, which is harmful for all the family member. The opposite case is even more deteriorating. A failed-to-divorce parent could divorce, in the second attempt, but those who chose to make the parent leave would probably never see their parents together. They will regret, if they made the wrong choice and they just acknowledged what he or she just have done. Now what about the probability. I strongly believe that this kind of scenarios will occur a lot. Even if the child is not so absurd, and shows good state in the school and with pupils, and have a three digit IQ, the children would lose the control in that kind of situation. The children might just cry for days that he or she faced this situation, where parents want to separate, and the choice is one's hand. With sudden impulse, the children irrationally could choose the wrong choice. A family with bad relation might not be separated due to child not wanting to be unable to see one side. On the other hand, even if it might be not a good choice to divorce, but he or her just shouts out to the parent to divorce, only with abhorrence or sudden anger, and the wrong idea from parent is concluded by wrong decision of child. It doesn't seem to be a rare situation. High probability with high damage makes high risk.

In conclusion, I would firmly argue that there is no need to take this risk or only advantage when the child is rational and mature at the same time in that kind of chaotic situation.


Some people believe that children should have full participation in the decision-making about with whom they will live when, and how to divide their time. Other people believe children should have no say at all. There also is a full range of perspectives between these two extremes.

One question is when children's input is likely to prove helpful. For instance, children can be encouraged to voice their concerns prior to the parents' creating a plan. Alternatively children can offer suggestions regarding what kinds of arrangement they would prefer.

Do children want to add their input? The answer seems in most cases to be a resounding yes. In a recent study, 29 children ages 7-17 whose parents were involved in custody disputes had been asked by divorce professionals if they wanted to give input. Some were represented by an attorney, some met with a mental health professional, and some had been interviewed by a judge. The researchers found that "many children want to be heard and want a say in how they are to be involved in the legal process, but few want to make the decisions about their future." You cannot sadly argue with the facts. This is living proof that children SHOULD have a say in this legal process.

Another factor is the quality of the relationship between each parent and each child. If the overall family relationships are positive and relatively conflict-free, children's input can be both valuable and unlikely to invite retribution from a parent or loyalty issues from the children. On the other hand, if the relationship between a child and a parent, or between the two parents, has been contentious, the input may be tainted by fears and otherconsiderations that are more about the family"s dynamics than about the best interests of the child.

In summary, to not include your child in such a dramatic chapter in a relationship can cause consequences in later life. The child may become depressed, some may turn to drugs, alcohol or other. Some even may commit suicide. I think a child's input is crucial for their mental health and their conscience. Not including a child in this hearing would be sick and intolerable.
Debate Round No. 2


SomeSay forfeited this round.


As my opponent has forfeited this round, I think it is clear to say who the real winner is here and who put up the better fight!

I rest my case!
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Tommy.leadbetter 2 years ago
How could this work? What if the child said no when there was no chance of fixing the relationship? As would happen all the time.
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