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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 06-11-2007, 09:00 AM
OB1 OB1 is offline
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Default What age can a child decide to move with the other parent

My daughter is a mature young lady. She is a straight A student. She is presently 11 years old. My daughter is telling me that she would like to spend one week with each one of us. At the moment she is with my ex wife most of the time. I have her and my son every Wednesday and every other weekend. My daughter has always wanted this the one week each, but I though I had no chance at getting it.
Just this weekend she said since mommy has had me for the last 2.5 years it's only fair that we stay with you.
I'm in the process of settling my equalization and divorce. I don't know how much weight an 11 year old has in making the kind of decision. I would love to have my child.
I know my ex is brain washing her by saying you wouldn't want to leave your brother and you better not do that.
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:32 AM
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I think your only course of action to have the child's desires heard or possibly included in any court decision is to take the matter to court and request that the OCL get involved based on the voiced desires of your 11 year old.

If the court feels that the request has merit, they will send an order to the OCL and they would request that both parties file intake forms and the process begins. Once the assessment is complete the OCL will attend a court hearing to have their findings heard, IE have the children’s wishes heard for consideration.

I am thinking you may not have much of a chance going the court route as you would have to have a material change in circumstances to warrant a request to vary the access already in place. I'm not familiar with this area of the FL system, but I think you need to have more of a change then just a child's desires???
Is it an option to ask the mother formally first, and see what her reply would be?
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:00 AM
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Default Age for decision

Not 100% sure but I believe at the age of 16 the child has a say as to which parent he/she would like to live with. I have a 15 year old son and we have discussed the issue of where he would like to reside. I made sure he knew his decision was not "mother vs father", that we all know he loves his mother and she loves him very much. For the record he remains at home along with his sister, and he has no desire to live elsewhere, but I made sure he knew there was an option.

As for your situation I would suggest perhaps taking this one step at a time. If it were me I would try talk with her mother to work out an arrangement where you could extend a weekend stay through to the Wednesday. Try that for a few months and see how it works out. I think this would be an easier transition than a complete transplant because I imagine there will be resistance from her mother's side. Also the point regarding her brother should not be dismissed, it is important they maintain a good brother/sister relationship and this is difficult to do in separate homes.

By explaining to your ex that this arrangement is just an extra 2 days per month it shouldn't sound at all unreasonable and I think by stringing those days together with the weekend it will probably seem a lot longer for you and your daughter.
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Old 06-12-2007, 01:01 PM
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Thank you for your comments. My ex refuses to let me see them more time. She most likely is worried that her child support will be terminated if we have equal sharing of the kids. I had heard that at 12 years old they can choose who they want to live with. However at 13 I stand a better chance of having my daughter live with me. Isn't it wierd how thinks turn out in a divorce. I would give my children to my ex one week eack but she refuses. Talk about a baised system. Both parents should equally be entitled to be with thier children. I''m just so upset at the system. Children suffer because our goverment puts thier two cents into innocent lives.
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