Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, WEST PALM BEACH, WELLINGTON, BOCA RATON561-328-1111
In light of COVID-19, Matthew Lane & Associates will be able to meet with new clients via Zoom. To discuss your options, please call the office. Thank you!

Children's Preferences in Child Custody and Visitation cases in Florida

A Child Custody and Visitation case involving a child's custody preference was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal. In a case captioned Talarico v. Talarico, the mother and father had two children. The parties divorced and negotiated parenting plans. Several years later, the father sought a modification of child custody and visitation, which the trial court granted. The Florida Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's decision.

The Florida Court of Appeal stated that in order to grant a modification of child custody, the moving party must prove that a material, substantial and unanticipated change of circumstances occurred which warrants the modification. This change of circumstances must adversely affect the children's welfare. One of the factors that the trial court is permitted to consider in reaching a custody decision is a child's reasonable preference. In order to consider a child's custody preference, the trial court must find that the child has sufficient experience, understanding and intelligence to express a preference. The Court of Appeal stated that trial courts ordinarily do not desire to have children testify in court against one of their parents. In the event that a trial court decides to permit such testimony, the preferred method to obtain such testimony is by an interview conducted by the trial judge outside of the presence of the parents. These interviews are either recorded (unless otherwise agreed to by the parties), or the judge provides a summary of the interviews.

child custody and visitationRegarding child custody and visitation, the Florida Court of Appeal stated that the absence of a recording or a summary of the children's interviews in this case constituted a violation of the mother's Due Process rights under the United States Constitution. Therefore the Florida Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's determination and remanded the case back to the trial court for another hearing.

To speak with a Child Custody and Visitation attorney, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 328-1111.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Request Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response

Palm Beach Gardens Office
The Financial Center at the Gardens
3801 PGA Boulevard
Suite 600
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410

Toll Free: 800-411-3434
Phone: 407-917-5005
Phone: (561) 328-1111
Fax: (561) 472-1568
Map & Directions

Wellington Office
Wellington Reserve
1035 South State Road 7
Suite 315
Wellington, Florida 33414

Toll Free: 800-411-3434
Phone: 407-917-5005
Fax: (561) 472-1568
Map & Directions

West Palm Beach Office
Phillips Point
777 South Flagler Drive
Suite 800
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401

Toll Free: 800-411-3434
Phone: 407-917-5005
Fax: (561) 472-1568
Map & Directions

Boca Raton Office
One Boca Place
2255 Glades Road
Suite 324A
Boca Raton, Florida 33431

Toll Free: 800-411-3434
Phone: 407-917-5005
Fax: (561) 472-1568
Map & Directions