Can a Child Weigh In On Custody in Florida?

child custody florida

If you are involved in child custody proceedings, please read on, then contact an experienced Pensacola child custody lawyer to learn if a child can weigh in on custody in the state of Florida.

Is a child allowed to decide on custody in Florida?

Many separating parents mistakenly think that their child can choose whom to live with. Only one state lets a child, of at least 14 years of age and subject to a judge’s approval, choose who takes physical custody of them. Needless to say, that state is not Florida. Some states consider a child’s preference if the child possesses sufficient intellectual capacity and maturity. Again, that does not include the Sunshine State. In fact, Florida is one of thirteen states in which judges are not required to consider a child’s custody preference.

How is child custody determined in Florida?

Central to any child custody decision in Florida is the child’s best interests. Judges expect parents to put the needs of their children before their own. They  will consider the extent to which each parent has demonstrated an ability and desire to meet the child’s developmental needs, based on the following factors:

  • Each parent’s willingness to foster a relationship between the child and the other parent
  • Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs
  • Each parent’s physical and mental health
  • Each parent’s moral fitness
  • Each parent’s ability to provide the child with a consistent routine
  • The geographic viability of the parenting plan, specifically the amount of travel it would take to honor the time-sharing schedule
  • Child’s adjustment to home and community
  • Evidence of domestic violence, if any
  • Each parent’s ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child
  • The child’s developmental age, needs and abilities

To ensure that the judge sees your ability and desire to meet your child’s needs, you should reach out to a skilled Pensacola family law attorney.

How can a Pensacola family law attorney help you?

For many, divorce is the most personal and most significant legal matter they will ever encounter and no issue is thornier or more emotional than hashing out child custody. Whatever issues exist between you and the other parent, the best interests of your child must remain at the forefront. To that end, a competent legal professional will help develop a long-term solution that takes the needs of all parties, including your child, into account. Our firm will effectively guide you through each step of the legal process ahead, so give us a call today.


For decades, the Law Office of James M. Burns has helped countless people through a wide array of legal issues, including those involving criminal law, family law, personal injury law, and will & probate law. If require the assistance of a competent legal team that can effectively guide you through each phase of your legal matter, you’ve come to the right place. Contact the Law Office of James M. Burns today to schedule your initial consultation.