Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Under Florida law and its Domestic Relations Act XLIII, there is a presumption for time sharing with regard to child custody, called guardianship in Florida. Under the statute, a child never may choose whom he or she will live with.
To change custody under Florida law, you must demonstrate that there has been a change of circumstance since the last order and that the modification of custody is in the child's best interests. The statute states specifically that - "For purposes of establishing or modifying parental responsibility and creating, developing, approving, or modifying a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which governs each parent's relationship with his or her minor child and the relationship between each parent with regard to his or her minor child, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration."
Only after a thresh hold showing will a child's opinion be considered if the court deems that child to be of suitable age and maturity to express an opinion. Often, that does not occur until the child reaches the age of 12 or older.
There are now twenty factors for consideration when considering a change of custody and what is in a child's best interests. Some may or may not apply to you. They are highlighted below:
To review the full text, see section 61.13(3) of the Florida Statutes.v http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0061/Sec13.HTM
Thank you for Choosing JustAnswer. Please CLICK ACCEPT BELOW so that I may be compensated for my work.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).