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I live in Florida. What age can a child say what parent they want to live with?

1 Answers. Asked on Feb 25th, 2011 on Family Law - Florida
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I live in Florida. What age can a child say what parent they want to live with?
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Answered on Mar 13th, 2012 at 2:18 PM

You state you live in Florida and are wondering at what age a child can state a preference as to which parent they prefer to live with.  Under Florida Statute section 61.13 in determining time sharing a child has with each parent, one factor the Court can consider is "the reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference."

Thus, there is no specific age a child must attain before expressing a preference.  Rather the Court bases its decision on the child's maturity, which is not age specific.  Also judges may differ in their individual opinions as to when a child is mature enough to express an opinion, but most likely around the age of 12 years and older.  Also, before a minor child can be brought to court, one must file a motion asking that the minor child be allowed to testify and/or attend a hearing (See Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.407).  

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A family law attorney can guide you through the many legal issues facing couples, parents and their children. Family law lawyers can work with individuals who are engaged or married to create pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements. Family law attorneys will also work with individuals and couples seeking to start or grow a family through adoption. And law firms can work with individuals who are getting divorced to negotiate a divorce agreement, including alimony, palimony, the division of property and debts, child custody, child support and visitation.
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