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At what age may kids decide which parent they want to live with?

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2022 | Child Custody

Both spouses have responsibility for their children’s upbringing until they turn 18. During divorce, the court approves a parenting plan that shows how your children will spend time with each parent. Children may discuss their needs and parents may include them in their shared plans. Florida does not define a particular age when children may voice their hoped-for living arrangements.

The Florida Legislature’s website notes that parenting plans represent schedules describing how ex-spouses will divide their child-rearing duties. You may outline which days of the week a child will reside with you and which days with your spouse. Your arrangement may include birthdays, holidays and other important dates.

Which activities may influence a living arrangement?

If your child has a medical condition, Florida law requires both parents to contribute to his or her health care needs. You may create a parenting schedule that makes it easier for you or your ex-spouse to take your child to receive medical treatments.

Your child may discuss issues such as living with a parent who resides close to school or who supports participation in extracurricular activities. If your child prefers one parent’s religion or traditions, the time-sharing schedule may include spending more time with the spouse offering the preferred lifestyle.

Why may children add their input to a parenting plan?

Psychology Today reports on the advantages that children receive from spending time with both parents. Kids, for example, gain the ability to manage conflicts better when they can build relationships with both parents. Adding their preferences to your parenting plan may also help them cope with divorce.

Florida’s law requires couples to create a shared parenting plan that may include dividing responsibilities based on a family’s preferences. If the court sees that the arrangement reflects a child’s best interests, it may approve it as part of the divorce decree.


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