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Does a minor child of 13 have the right to change visitation agreement?

Winter Haven, FL |

Minor child wants to change timeline of visitation as to spend more time with everyone. visitation agreement is at least 4 years old. Things have changed.

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Attorney answers 4


Duplicate question see answer to previous question as below:

You don't say if the original order was in Florida or Georgia. Your grandson lives in Georgia, so Georgia has jurisdiction now, but without seeing the original order I don't know what state's law applies. In Florida the child has no right. The court may occasionally hear the child's point of view, but that is very rare. The decisions are made based on what the court determines is the best interest of the child if evidence is presented at a hearing or what the parents agree on. Grandparents have no independent rights, unless it is a DCF case, or both parents are dead or unfit - then there are some limited rights. So yes, the first thing you need to do is have a lawyer look at the paperwork you are wondering about.

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The short answer to your question is "no". A child of 13 does not have the right to modify a visitation agreement. A petition to modify a visitation agreement is brought by one of the parties to the agreement - usually the parents - and typically must be based on a substantial change in circumstances. In determining whether visitation should be modified, the court would look at what is in the best interests of the child. The preference of the child can be considered by the court if the court deems the child to be "of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference." However, if the visitation schedule is causing an issue in the family, I would urge the parents and the 13 year old to sit down and talk about it. A visitation schedule can be changed by agreement of the parties.


No, a minor does not have the ability to change the agreement between the parents, but both should work together to respect the desires of the child.

R. Jason de Groot, Esq. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I make do not constitute legal advice. Any statements made by me are based upon the limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in Florida.


While the child has no independent right, I have personally seen , on multiple occasions, judges talk in chambers to children who are determined to be of sufficient age to express an interest and preference. At thirteen years old, the minor child's opinion will be of relevance but other factors are going to be outcome determinative since a modification action in Florida requires showing a substantial change in circumstances (a 4-year-old-agreement may be ripe for such an argument) as well as that the change is in the best interests of the child.

This is not intended as legal advice nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. It is merely some suggestions to point you in the right direction since the legal world can be confusing and complex to navigate. Give me a call at 727-674-5310 if you want to set up a free consultation.

Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft


Some judges will do this in a heartbeat, others will not let the kids anywhere near the courtroom. If you have the latter situation, and a real problem, you can always seek the appointment of a GAL.

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