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Attorney & Mediator
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Category: Family Law
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What legal age in florida can a child decide which parent to

Resolved Question:

what legal age in florida can a child decide which parent to live with?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 10 years ago.
In Florida there is no specific age where a child is able to decide which parent they wish to live with. The law does not place the responsibility on a child to choose between both parents. So any preference that is stated is only taken into consideration and the court is the one that makes the final decision. With that said, any child that is competent and able to articulate a preference is allowed to state their desires and the court will factor in that information with the following other factors:

The best interests of the child shall include an evaluation of all factors affecting the welfare and interests of the child, including, but not limited to:

(a) The parent who is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the nonresidential parent.

(b) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parents and the child.

(c) The capacity and disposition of the parents to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in lieu of medical care, and other material needs.

(d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.

(e) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home.

(f) The moral fitness of the parents.

(g) The mental and physical health of the parents.

(h) The home, school, and community record of the child.

(i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.

(j) The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent.

(k) Evidence that any party has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding a domestic violence proceeding pursuant to s.

(l) Evidence of domestic violence or child abuse.

(m) Any other fact considered by the court to be relevant.

Now if the issue is to request modification of the current custody orders, the court will allow the parent to file the request upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. This could be anything where the child's best interest are not being met. Just a showing that the child wants to live with another parent without showing a substantial change will not be enough for a modification. You can read more about custody issue for Florida below:

61.122 Child custody evaluations; presumption of psychologist's good faith; prerequisite to parent's filing suit; award of fees, costs, reimbursement.

61.13 Custody and support of children; visitation rights; power of court in making orders.

61.13001 Parental relocation with a child.

Legal Disclaimer: The information given by me is for informational/research use only and you are paying me only for such information. The information contained herewith is not legal advice and by rendering such information there is no formation of an attorney-client relationship. I also do not claim to be licensed to practice in the state where this information is being provided. I strive to provide quality information, but I make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked herein and it’s associated sites. As law is always changing, you are advised to speak with the appropriate legal counsel for accurate information. Thank you.

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