Right of children to choose who they live with or spend time with doesn’t exist in family law.
Children’s wishes are some of many important factors that a family law court must take into account, according to the Family Law Act, when deciding who children should live with and who, how and when they should spend time and communicate with.
It would be rare for a judge of a family law court to directly ask a child what their wishes are, but not unheard of.
Usually, children are interviewed by a family report writer. The family report writer will ask children what their wishes are, including who they live with and who they spend time with, if the children are old enough to answer this question.
However just because older children say they want to live with one parent doesn’t guarantee that a family law court will make an order to that effect.
The children’s wishes are given certain weight by the family law court according to what it thinks is appropriate in the circumstances. Those wishes are weighed against the many other factors the family law court has to consider.
Parents can be concerned that the other parent is “coaching” the children. However, it is reasonable for parents to feel confident that a qualified family report writer will notice if children have been ‘coached”.
Freedom Law can help you with your family law questions. Contact us today at our head office at Maroochydore for an in person or online consultation.