Can Children Express Preference in Florida Custody Proceedings?

Written by: Aaron Thomas; Article posted on:

When a custody dispute involves very young children, either the parents or a court will decide where they live. As children get older, however, they may prefer to live with one parent or the other. 

Overview of Custody Decisions in Florida. When separating parents can’t agree how to split parenting responsibilities and visitation time, the judge makes the decision for them. After hearing evidence from both parents, the court will develop a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, based on what is in the child’s best interest.

When Will the Court Consider a Child’s Preference? Unlike other states, in Florida, there is no particular age when courts must consider a child’s preference regarding which parent should have custody. Instead, the judge has the discretion to decide whether the child is intelligent enough to make a choice, whether the child understands the decision he or she is making, and whether the child has enough experience with each parent so that the decision is meaningful.

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