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How involved should children be in a divorce?

There are many opinions about whether children should get a say during divorce proceedings. Some experts say kids should absolutely voice their opinions while others suggest keeping them far away from everything as possible. Ultimately, you need to consider the age and maturity level of your children before deciding whether to ask for their input. 

You should remember if you do ask, you may not like what you hear. However, it is vital to remain open and caring during a divorce, so the children maintain respect for both parents even after separating. 

A child's opinion when it comes to custody

Children may not have too many opinions about who receives certain family heirlooms, but they will probably care a great deal about who they live with most of the time and where each parent will live in relation to school. Therefore, many judges will listen to the opinions of children to determine custody. Unlike other states, Florida does not set an age for how young a child can be to express an opinion. It is up to the judge to determine if the child is mature enough to articulate an intelligent opinion about his or her well-being.

Children testifying in court

Another important point to consider is that children do not have to testify in court, and attorneys cannot force a child to take the stand. The only time legal parties will pursue this is whether there is an emergency situation, such as a child having knowledge of illegal behavior from one of the parents. 

Although you may not want to bring your child to court all the time during the divorce, you should still consider hiring someone to speak to your child. There are many trained professionals who can talk to children about their feelings during this tumultuous time. Talking through their feelings can be immensely beneficial for developing minds. 

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  • The Florida Bar| Board Certified | Marital & Family Law
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