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Floridalegalanswer
Floridalegalanswer, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 427
Experience:  I am an attorney licensed in Florida capable of answering your legal questions in the area of Florida Family Law
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If you you have joint custody of the children and they are

Customer Question

If you you have joint custody of the children and they are 11 and 14 and they want to live with one parent and the mother hasn't had that much time with them in the last 4 months can the child decide where they want to and not be forced to go with the other if they dont want to i know that their will be visition rights the divorce is not final just the paper work has been filed and she is not for sure what she wants to do but she said she wants the divorce
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Floridalegalanswer replied 4 years ago.

Floridalegalanswer :

Hi there!

Customer:

Hello

Floridalegalanswer :

Generally, a child may not choose which parent they would like to live with.

Floridalegalanswer :

However, generally after age 12, the Judge can hear testimony from the child on where they would like to live. The Judge, however, is not under any obligation to follow the child's wishes.

Floridalegalanswer :

The Judge should place the child with the parent that is in the best interests of the children. The child's wish to live with a particular parent is only one factor for the Judge to consider.

Floridalegalanswer :

If I have answered your question, please Accept my answer. If you have any additional questions, please ask.

Customer:

Even if she hasnt tried to find a place to live. She moved back in with her parents and she only makes anought money to cover her cell phone and car payment. Would i have to pay more child support to make up the diffrence for them a place to live

Floridalegalanswer :

The Judge can use every piece of evidence/testimony to render the decision. If you show that the Mother hasn't spent much time with them over the past 4 months, she can't provide a decent place for the children to live but you can, and the children want to live with you, then the Judge can use all of this information to decide who the children should live with primarily.

Customer:

what if i agree with the paper work that is drawn up now will we still talk with a judge before the final or would it have to be changed to a contested devorice it is a non contested divorice at this time

Floridalegalanswer :

If you and the Mother are in agreement and have both signed the paperwork, generally all you have to do is submit the paperwork to the Judge and inform the Judge that everything has been settled. The Judge ultimately has the final decision but generally the Judge will sign off on the agreement.

Floridalegalanswer :

Judges in general do not like to disturb an agreement where everything has been settled. However, in a rare case such as, if the agreement said the kids would rotate every night from one parent to the other parents house...Some Judges would not sign off on this agreement because they might feel the child should have more stability and for example, change it to a week on week off rotation.

Customer:

what if it the paper work said joint custody can the judge decide something diffent on the children

Floridalegalanswer :

Yes, the Judge always has the final decision. However, unless the Judge has a good reason to not sign the agreement, they will generally sign off on the agreement. All judges are different though, and while one judge may be okay with the agreement, another judge may not be okay with it. Like the example I gave, if the Judge does not feel that the agreement is in the child's best interests (if it interferes with the school schedule, or does not provide enough stability for the kids, etc.) the Judge can Order something different.

Customer:

at that time would we have a chance to descuss this over with the judge or would the mother and i have to come up with another agreement

Floridalegalanswer :

Do you have an attorney?

Customer:

no

Floridalegalanswer :

Okay, what you can do is contact the Clerk of Courts at the Courthouse. You can ask them if they have a Family Law Division and sometimes they will have a Family Law Coordinator. Generally, you can explain the situation, let them know you have an agreement and that you want it entered with the Court.

Floridalegalanswer :

They may be able to assist you in getting the hearing in front of the Judge. At the hearing, you and the Mother can tell the judge that you have both signed an agreement that you would like to enter with the Court and be divorced. The Judge may ask a few questions like, what is happening with the children and as long as there aren't any contested issues, generally the Judge will enter the agreement as is, or the Judge might modify the agreement.

Floridalegalanswer :

Generally, the Judge will not modify too much about splitting property, however, many times they do want to know that the children are going to be okay and that there is a set custody/visitation schedule.

Floridalegalanswer :

If I have answered your question, please Accept my answer. If you have additional questions, please ask.

Customer:

she has an attorney that done the paperwork for her it started out as a contested divorice and she changed to a non contested divorice and she got the papers but we have not signed them but she doesnt spend any time with them.

Floridalegalanswer :

Okay. A lot of times, the papers will say one thing and what actually occurs is a different story. It sounds like you should be the primary parent from what you have explained so far. So, as long as you are okay with the agreement and you are satisfied with the provisions, then you could both sign them. Her attorney should be well versed with getting the hearing and entering the agreement with the Judge. You may want to consider contacting her attorney directly before going through the Clerk of Courts as I mentioned above.

Customer:

ne last thing i still put my pay check in the bank and i pay her way as i said before she makes enought to pay her car and phone bill and she is breaking me do i have to still give her money to shop on and to go out

Floridalegalanswer :

how long have you been married?

Customer:

16 years

Floridalegalanswer :

I only ask the length of the marriage because that can be used as a factor in determining if she is entitled to alimony.

Floridalegalanswer :

However, the answer is no you do not have to keep giving her money unless there is a Court Order that says you have to pay her. Also, that will generally be a provision in the Divorce paperwork...the papers will usually state whether there will be alimony paid or not.

Customer:

she did not ask for it

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