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I am a single father and up till recently my kids have lived…

Hello my name is*****...

Hello my name is***** am a single father and up till recently my kids have lived with their mother, but now the kids want to come and live with me, my eldest is 14, boy name Logan and a daughter 11 Rylee.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

WA

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No we have no court orders

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No Just wondering on my kids basic legal choices

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
1/17/2018
Leon
Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 45,703
Experience: BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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Hi, I am Leon, a NSW Solicitor. I will be assisting you with your question today. I may ask a few questions. I can call you for an extra fee.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sure

Good Afternoon

The law will take into consideration the childrens wishes but you first have to have mediation and see if you can reach an agreement to change the current status quo.

If there are court orders in place, you may be in breach of the children come and stay with you.

The 14 yo is going to be listened to by the court.

The 11yo it will depend on their level of maturity.

The law has evolved and the following sets out how it is applied and when children have a say and the courts listen to their wishes.

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.

If the mother does not agree then you will have to go to court and get orders at which point the children will have a right to voice their wishes.

I hope this makes sense and is of assistance. If you have found my answer to be helpful, please rate me five stars so I can get paid for my services to you. I am happy for you to ask further questions on anything you wish more detail on.

Regards

Leon

Leon
Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
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Experience: BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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