Yes they will still have to go to court, many times in fact. The parenting plan is basically a court ordered structuring program to insure the kids are safe and taken care of. Comply with the court orders, go to every parenting class offered, and ask for more and you have a better chance of getting custody!
The child does NOT have a choice in the matter, no matter the age. The judge may choose to *listen* to the child's testimony, but the child does not get final say, because the issue is "in the child's best interest" and not a matter of the child's opinion of which parent is "more fun."
If there is an issue in child neglect, abuse, or questionable parenting, the judge may also choose to ask the child questions in that situation.
Call the judge or attorney and ask if the child should be present for the hearing.