Good afternoon mj1517 and thank you for your question.
Please be advised that I am not a lawyer and can not give you legal
advise. With that said, please find below some information pertaining
to your question, ?What is the florida statute that allows a child of
12 years old or older to choose residency with a parent following a
I was not able to find a Florida state statute that states
specifically what age a child should be in order for a court to listen
to his or her opinion on who they want to live with. After searching
the web, I am of the opinion that a specific statute does not exist.
The 2005 Florida Statutes, Title XLIII, Domestic Relations, Ch.741-753
say nothing about the age of the child. You can find the full statute
( http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm )
Section 61.13(2)(b) states:
?2)(b)1. The court shall determine all matters relating to custody of
each minor child of the parties in accordance with the best interests
of the child and in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody
Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. It is the public policy of this
state to assure that each minor child has frequent and continuing
contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage
of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the
rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing. AFTER
CONSIDERING ALL RELEVANT FACTS, the father of the child shall be given
the same consideration as the mother in determining the primary
residence of a child irrespective of the age or sex of the child.?
According to Florida divorce law, factors which the court will
consider include the following:
The parent who is more likely to allow the child frequent and
continuing contact with the other parent.
The love, affection, and emotional ties existing between the parents
and the child.
The capacity and ability to meet the child's material needs.
The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory
environment, and the desirability of maintaining stability.
The permanence, as a family unit, of the current or new custodial home.
Moral fitness of the parents.
Mental and physical health of the parents.
The home, school, and community record of the child.
THE REASONABLE PREFERENCE OF THE CHILD, IF THE COURT DEEMS THE CHILD
TO BE OF SUFFICIENT INTELLIGENCE, UNDERSTANDING AND EXPERIENCE TO
EXPRESS A PREFERENCE.
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.
Source: ( http://www.familylawsoftware.com/splitgen/sp/fl/custodyjointcustody.htm
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?Some states (NOT ALL) allow children of sufficient maturity to have
an impact upon the determination of custody and visitation by
considering their desire to reside with one parent or the other.
Judges will listen closely to the child's stated preference and his or
Source: Family Law Free Advice
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?Custody is granted according to the best interests of the child,
based on the following factors:
(3) Preference of the child, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity;?
Source: Florida Child Custody Laws
( http://www.divorcedoc.com/Florida-custody.htm )
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If you still have question, I would consider contacting a Family Law
lawyer in your area. You can contact the Florida Bar Lawyer Referral
Service (LRS) at:
1-800-342-8011 or 1-800-342-8060 extension 5844
The LRS provides referrals to attorneys who will conduct an initial
one-half hour office consultation for $25 verses their normal fees
which could be well over $125.00 per hour. Or you can look in your
local Yellow Pages.
Another website you might find helpful is FloridaLawHelp:
( http://www.floridalawhelp.org/FL/index.cfm )
If this answer requires further explanation, please request
clarification before rating it, and I'll be happy to look into this
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