Child custody decisions in Australia are complex matters which are often decided by the courts. Achieving a positive outcome for both parties can be difficult, which means that you should always engage the services of an experienced family lawyer to make sure that you’re doing things right.
In saying that, there are some things that are out of your control when child custody cases are being heard. For example, if a child really doesn’t want to live with one of their parents, the court will take this into account – sometimes.
It can be hard to know just how much weight the judge will give to a child’s opinions when resolving a child custody dispute, and ultimately it will vary from situation to situation.
When will a child’s opinion be considered?
As I noted above, the weight that a judge gives to a child’s opinion will depend on the situation. In some cases, they will listen carefully to what a child or children have to say. For example, when:
- A child is mature enough to form their own opinion without significant outside influence.
- When there’s evidence that one of the parents hasn’t treated the child right.
- If one of the parents has been absent for a significant part of the child’s life, and they want to continue living with the other one.