Does my child’s preference a matter in my custody case?
It all depends on your situation. Florida Statute 61.13(3)(i) states that the “reasonable preference” of a child is a factor for the court to consider when developing a parenting plan, but only if the Judge “deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.”
Florida case law states that a child’s decision is to be “given great weight” when the child is fifteen years old. Other cases have held that the preference of a ten year old child does not carry as much weight.
It is important to note that a child’s preference is not the “end all be all” for a Judge to consider. The child’s preference must be balanced with all of the other factors listed in Florida Statute 61.13(3).