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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience as practicing attorney
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My husband is currently deployed and is stationed in South

Resolved Question:

My husband is currently deployed and is stationed in South Dakota. He has 2 sons that live with their mother in Florida and are ages 10 and 7. They have joint custody of the children. Do the children have the right to choose who they want to live with? They keep expressing how unhappy they are living with their mother and that they want to move in with him.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.

Dear JACUSTOMER - They are far too young to testify as to a choice of custodial parent. The courts will not generally listen to any child under the age of 12 or 13 and the final decision is always with the court as to custody. If your husband wants to amend the custody order he will have to file in the Florida courts for change of custody. He will have to demonstrate tot he court that it is in the best interests of his children to live with him. He can hire an expert witness such as a child psychologist, to testify on his behalf as to the best interests of the kids but the kids will not be permitted to have a say in the matter.

An exception to this would be if the children are being abused and the court might permit an "in camera" interview to determine the truth of the allegations.

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