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Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 44196
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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I would like to know what the legal age is a child needs to be in order to decide to conti

Customer Question

I would like to know what the legal age is a child needs to be in order to decide to continue to see a parent?
My Daughter is 11, has an extremely hard time seeing her father (history of family violence to me and she has witnessed it, history of put downs, anger and intimidation to her done by him among other issues) She is suffering depression and seeing councillors and a pead doc for an assessment. She has twice mentioned self harm because she is so unhappy there.
He is the type of man who is arrogant, selfish, vengeful, spiteful, fake and has a cash income to throw lawyers at me with threats of consent orders. He believes his daughter is fine.
We failed mediation and have no agreed parenting plan and are closly sticking to the unagreed arrangement for a year now. I tried back then to get her out of his care, which is 3 nights per fortnight and half holidays.
If she had her way she would never see him again. Her councillor thinks she is mature in her decision.
I am not in a fi
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 2 years ago.
Good Morning
My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.
The law says that the age of 14 is wham they listen to what a child wants.
here is some information about this and how is has evolved.
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.
Do you have any court orders?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No court orders, or signed parenting plan. Her mental health and happiness is of greatest concern to me. Financially I am not in a position to hire further lawyers. I can not self represent it would be too hard on me -i am ill and on a DSP. Legal aid is not available to me as my home is morgtaged on an interest only loan to my father. I tried to work but could not due to health reasons. My ex has never paid his half of the mortgage (he is stillon the title even though he signed a stat dec "giving me the house") and has not paid me any support - he pays 80 per week child support on an income of approx $2000.00 per week. I have been ill since falling pregnant in 2003 so have not been able to self support. I fear that once the home is sold (I have been forced by my father's lawyer and my ex's lawyer to sell the home) there is no equity and will be a debt on the sale I cant cover and my ex pretends to the ATO he earns less than me on a DSP.
I fear that he will take action against me when I am forced into a van while waiting for DHS housing.
I need to know where to go for help as this situ is so unfair.
What my daughter goes through at her fathers home is the same treatment he gave to me when I was with him. Its pshycological and emotional and so difficult for her.
I have had to explain to her last night she needs to keep seeing him because I am broke and if she defies him and wants to stay home, her experience will only get worse the next time he lawyers up and she has to go back, and that kills me inside to have to tell her.
He is being financially controling over me and hence effecting the kids and my ability to care for them, How do I get the right support?
My daughter has twice mentioned suicide in the last year and has an appointment with a pead doctor to assess her for depression etc. Her father thinks she is fine :(
Expert:  Leon replied 2 years ago.
Good Afternoon
If there are no orders then there is nothing to be enforced.
If she chooses not to go then the father cannot force her to go. If you have medical reports then you can use them if the matter does go to court.
If she doesn't g to the father then he can File to get orders and at that time you can worry about getting lawyer.
Have you applied for child support? If not contact Centrelink and make an application.
The website is as follows:
If you want spousal maintenance you have to go to court.
You take her to a doctor and have her get help.
Is he on title in the house?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes he is on the title still. He never transfered it to me as he said he was going to , never paid a cent towards the home since seperation. We are probably looking at a loss of 30 to 50k on the house. My father wants the entire interest only loan paid back plus payments owing to him since I have not been able to make them. I paid in full for a year on my own while I tried to work, but as soon as I couldn't any longer I had no ability to meet the loan at all.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have been working on a child support reassessment for the last year -I fear his responce to it being taken out on her.
I am getting her all the help I can and support her fully.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I believe he has taken measures to hide income and transfered his business out of his name etc. I also suspect he has started another shop
Expert:  Leon replied 2 years ago.
Good Afternoon
I know you don't have any money but you have a right to a splt of the property ands also spousal maintenance.
You may have to consider selling the property and then your father will be chasing you and him for the money.
You need to get orders to get this all done.
If he has assets such as super you are entitled to a share of that as well
Maybe contact a solicitor and provide more details top them and they may be able to assist with the legal aid.
The law institute of victoria can give you a referral
Their website is as follows:
Even consider a community legal centre.
All the best with it. If there is nothing further thank you for using my services.
If I have missed anything, or you have any further questions please let me know
If there is anything else in the future please do not hesitate to ask.
Please do not forget to leave positive feedback.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank You Leon I will try the above
Expert:  Leon replied 2 years ago.
All the best and good luck
You are very welcome and thank you for using my services.
If I have missed anything, or you have any further questions please let me know
If there is anything else in the future please do not hesitate to ask.
Please do not forget to leave positive feedback.