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Is there a certain age in Florida when a child can decide which parent they want to live with?

Orlando, FL |

Or can they at least have a strong say at a certain age that the court will take their feelings/wants into consideration??

Attorney Answers 4


  1. If a parenting plan/time sharing agreement has not been entered into by the parties, the court may take into consideration the reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference. Practically speaking, the court rarely allows children to testify as to their preference.


  2. It is very difficult to even get the courts to allow a minor child to testify as to a preference of where to live. Even if they are allowed to state a preference, the court is not required to follow the child's choice. The child's preference is only one of many factors that will be considered in making that determination.


  3. It is unlikely the court will allow this. This puts an enoous amount of pressure on a child. You can ask for a social investigation. They will interview children to help and assess the best interest of the child


  4. In order for a child to testify the party requesting the child to testify needs to file a motion with the court to obtain permission for the child to speak to the Judge. Although it can be done and its discretionary whether the Judge will grant the motion, most Judge's will not allow the child to speak, as its bringing a child into an adult situation. Generally its been my experience that the Judge frown on the parent who brought forth the motion, as one of the factors to consider states whether or not the parent has involved the minor child in the litigation. I would recommend a guardian at litem be appointed on the case, so that the guardian can speak on behalf of the child.
    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Florida. Responses are based solely on Florida law unless stated otherwise. contact The Cardama Law Group, P.A. 407-704-8932

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Florida. Responses are based solely on Florida law unless stated otherwise. contact The Cardama Law Group, P.A. 407-704-8932

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