This week on the podcast, we have Senior Associate Dannielle Young joining us to discuss a common question that we get asked as Family Lawyers: at what age do children get to make their own decisions on when they see the other parent?
The answer to this question is… There is no age! They are children until they are 18 years of age.
Even though children are considered to be children until they are 18, there are avenues in the Family Law Act that set out some considerations that lawyers and judges have when determining parenting matters, and that might shed light on the question “at what age can my child decide for themselves”.
The legislation governing parenting matters here in Australia is the Family Law Act 1975, which has got a whole array of considerations that need to be taken into account or should be taken into account when we determine what time children should be spending with each of their parents.
The myth and where people believe that children can make up their own minds at certain ages comes into play when we look at section 60cc(3)(a). From a legislation point, this section states that consideration can be given to a child’s wishes. However, that is but one consideration and there is no magical age in which children can decide for themselves. It will all be about what weight should be attached to those wishes of the child and why.
Have a listen to Dannielle Young as she takes you through this common myth and gives you some insight into the answer to this common question in parenting matters.