When can a child choose which parent they want to live with, in Australia?
Discover top apps for separated parents to co-parent effectively. If you are a mom or dad who does not live with your kids' other parent, you know how tricky it can be to keep everything in check.
The Court uses a two-part test to consider a child's opinions about living arrangements:

Age of the child: There is no set age, and it's just one factor the Court looks at. Children under 17 may have their wishes ignored.

Child's maturity level: A family consultant, usually a qualified social worker or psychologist, helps the Court by meeting with the child. They provide a report about the child's understanding of the current parenting situation, based on their maturity level and decision-making capacity.

However, it is not a simple "yes" or "no" answer. The real question is, how much weight will the Court give to the child's wishes? The Court considers the child's age and maturity level, and the decision may significantly impact the legal proceedings. It's weighed against other factors outlined in the Family Law Act, such as maintaining a strong relationship with both parents and protecting the child from abuse and violence.
Consultation with an experienced Senior Domestic Violence Solicitor - $250 fee
We are here to provide you legal advice, as well as the best possible outcome for your unique situation. We understand that no two sides of the story are the same and we are here to listen to you. Book a DV consultation
Can a child refuse to visit a parent?

Just the child's age will not decide family law matters. In some cases, a 17-year-old's wishes were given little importance because their decision was not balanced. In other words, the reasons behind the decision weren't considered mature and appropriate. On the flip side, a 13 or 14-year-old's wishes might carry more weight if they express themselves in a well-thought-out and mature manner.
If your child wishes for different parenting arrangements, feel free to give us a call. We can provide advice specific to your situation and help you navigate through the legal aspects.
Related articles
Blog: The legal implications of relocating with your children post-separation in Australia
Explore the legal implications of relocating with your children post-separation in Australia. Understand the importance of the child's best interests, the challenges of relocation, and the potential need for court intervention. Seek professional legal advice for guidance on parenting arrangements and relocation orders.
Blog: A Guide to Preparing an Affidavit in Australia
Expert guide on preparing an affidavit in Australia, including legal requirements, structuring, and tips for presenting evidence in court. Seek advice from Genuine Legal for professional assistance.
Blog: Navigating Changes in Parenting Arrangements: A Comprehensive Guide
Learn how to navigate changes in parenting arrangements in Australia. Understand legal processes, consent orders, and the best interests of the child.
Blog: What to do when a parent takes a child without permission and won’t return them. Child Recovery Orders.
Child Recovery Orders: What you can do if a parent abducts your child. If your child has been taken by a parent without your consent and is not being returned, there are both legal and non-legal avenues you can explore.