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