Custody & Minor's Preference
by Liriea from Florida
If I am 16 years old in the state of Florida can I decide which parent I want to live with, without my mothers input? My mother has custody of me, but my father has visitation rights.
Answer to Florida Child Custody Question
While you cannot make the final decision, a Florida judge will most likely take your preference into consideration.
After about age 12, judges try to allow children of divorced couples to have a say in their living arrangements.
Generally, Florida child custody orders grant parents shared parental responsibility with one of the parents named as the primary residential custodian of the child.
So, usually, both parents have a say about all childcare decisions, from health care to academic choices.
In order to legally change your living arrangement, and live with your father, your father, your mother, or both, must petition the court for a modification of child custody.
An amicable solution is by far the best way to approach this. If you can talk it over with your mother and try to make her see that you want the opportunity to live with your father to get to know him better, she may agree -- and very likely a judge would go along with your decision.
On the other hand, if your reason for the change in living arrangement is that you believe that your mother has too many rules; and your father would be more lenient, then you may not get much support from a judge. At the end of the day, judges must decide custody cases based on the child's best interest. Notice:
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