In Florida, when you divorce your partner, you have to negotiate child custody or allow the court to do it for you. For young children, often the parents decide whether he or she can make any decisions during the custody battle. The idea behind this practice is that the parents know what is best for the child. In some instances, this is the truth. For many young children, they do not have the maturity to decide which parent should have custody or whether shared custody is the right option.

In a custody battle, the child technically has no legal rights to decide whom he or she should live with. A minor child, no matter how old cannot decide who has custodial rights. According to Florida Statutes, the court must act in the child’s best interests. A court may order shared custody and divide the chores equally or a court may decide that only one parent may be the sole parental responsibility. If for any reason one parent is not fit to be a parent, he or she may not be a part of the custody battle.

Children do have a voice at trial. If a child demonstrates capacity and disposition, then he or she may state a preference before the court. A judge may side with a child’s decision though in all cases, he or she attempts to stay fair. If the child lives in an area filled with neglect, then he or she must choose one parent instead of the other.

None of the information here is legal advice. It is for educational use.