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In the state of florida what's the legal age that a child can decide which parent he wants to live with?

Miami, FL |

My fiance son's keeps begging to come live with my fiance, however, i know that it's going to turn into an ugly custody battle with the mom

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Attorney answers 3


There is not actually an age at which a child is allowed to choose which parent to live with. A parent may file a motion to allow the child to testify in a time-sharing modification case. The judge will determine (on a case-by-case) whether or not to allow the child to testify as to a preference of where to live. Even if the child is allowed to testify, their preference is only one of many factors that a court will consider when making a determination of what time-sharing schedule is in the child's best interests.


Look up Florida Statue 61.13. There's a section that lists factors in determining the best interest of the child in regards to timesharing. The child's preference is listed as a factor, but not the only factor. You would most likely want to submit a petition to modify the timesharing schedule, and include some of the factors enumerated in the Statute.

Best of luck to you and your family.

* LEGAL DISCLAIMER ** This response above is not legal advice and it does not establish an attorney-client relationship. When responding to questions posted on Avvo, a general purpose response based on Florida law is provided. All relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter is not available. Therefore, I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, the review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


Some judges are very liberal about letting children testify, others are hesitant to let a 17-year-old testify. That is one of the advantages of having an attorney who may have had experience in the past with this particular judge. Good luck.