How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Leon Your Own Question

Leon
Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 39128
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
12124641
Type Your Australia Law Question Here...
Leon is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

At what age can a child choose who they want to live with

Resolved Question:

At what age can a child choose who they want to live with
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 3 years ago.
Good Morning

Until 1974, children had ‘the right’ to choose which parent they lived with at age 14. Since the Family Law Act came into effect in 1975, there has been no hard and fast rule.

The Family Court now looks at a number of factors in deciding with which parent a child shall live.

There is a presumption that it is in the interests of a child to spend as much time as possible with both parents. That is called a “rebuttable presumption” in that it is a starting point, but many factors are considered before the Court will make such an Order.

The wishes of the child are important. Equally important are the reasons for the Child stating those wishes, and also considerations such as the Child’s age, maturity and level of understanding. There is little point asking a 4 year old, no matter how bright the parents may think the child is. At the other end of the scale, the Court generally looks dimly on a Parent who demands a 16 year old be told by the Court with whom they shall live.

There is no magical age. The 8 year old should normally be asked, however the Court is not bound by what they say. It is a factor to be weighed-up. A 14-15 year old will normally have their wishes granted, so long as they are expressed to be for the appropriate reasons.

One case allowed 2 children (8 and 10 years old - sister & brother) to decide that they wanted to stop living with one parent and start living with the other because the other parent provided proper accommodation, took them to school, put shoes on their feet, and fed them as one would expect to feed children that age. Very basic needs which were not being met adequately by the first parent. At the other end of the scale, a 16 year old child with a significant mental impairment will be asked, however if the Court is not convinced that their wishes are actually in their best interests, other factors will take priority.

The Court specifically looks at the attitude of each parent towards the task of parenting, whether the parents are able to provide adequately for the child and whether a parent will actively promote the relationship between the Child and the other parent. The Court prefers not to separate Children where possible. Violence, drug and alcohol abuse are also considered.

I hope this is of assistance and if so please click on the accept button.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What if a child wants to live with their grandparents and the child is 12 years old, if he spends school holidays with me and asks if he can live with me do I have to take him back to my daughter, his mother
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I want to know if if I can tell my grandson yes if he asks to live with me
Expert:  Leon replied 3 years ago.
Good Morning

Even a grand parent can make the application.

The court will listen to the evidence and decide.

The current Act does not set an age but they do tend to follow past decisions.

I cannot give you guarantees on what the court has to say but you have to follow the standard procedures and go through mediation first and if that fails court.

You should contact your closest family relationship centre. This is a free service provided by the Federal Government. Their website is

http://www.familyrelationships.gov.au

You can find your closest one on there.

The web-site also have alot of useful information and links to assist you.

Before going to court you must obtain a certificate from a family dispute resolution practitioner. You get this through the free service provided at the family relationship centres.

If you need to go to court then you can will need to file an application in the Family Court or the Federal Magistrates Court

http://www.familycourt.gov.au and http://www.fmc.gov.au


I hope this is of assistance and if so please click on the accept button

Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 39128
Experience: BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
Leon and other Australia Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
If I have my grandson for the school holidays and he does not want go back home do I have to take him? He is 12 years of age, do I have to take him back if he is pleading to stay and live with me, please can you be more in the present with your answer as it takes a long time for matters to go to court. My concern is that he may be so unhappy at home he might run away

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Deborah Awyzio

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    859
    Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DA/dawyzio/2011-8-17_41631_Debheadshotfromfrontdesk.64x64.jpg Deborah Awyzio's Avatar

    Deborah Awyzio

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    859
    Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AU/AustralianLawyer/2012-8-24_122120_SeanPhoto.64x64.jpg Sean's Avatar

    Sean

    Experienced lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    837
    Law degree with 1st class honours from Australian National University.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SE/section52/2011-3-4_91720_darrenkrusehs.64x64.jpg Darren Kruse's Avatar

    Darren Kruse

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    16
    Practising in in Personal Injury, Workcover, Civil Disputes, Family, Wills and Estates and Criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BR/Brisbane.Lawyer/2013-10-15_65512_ProfilePhoto.64x64.jpg Brisbane.Lawyer's Avatar

    Brisbane.Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    105
    Lawyer of the Federal and High Courts of Australia; Lawyer of the Supreme Court of Qld
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MB/mbb75/Kylie at Makdap 500x500 pixels.64x64.jpg kmslegalservice's Avatar

    kmslegalservice

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    18
    I have 14 years legal experience behind me and I graduated from the University of Sydney with First Class Honours in Arts/Law.
  • /img/opt/shirt.png Patrick H.'s Avatar

    Patrick H.

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    4168
    Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Solicitor
Leon
Leon
Solicitor and Notary
20242 Satisfied Customers
BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)