At what age can a child decide who to live with?

Under the Family Law Act children remain children until they attain the age of 18 years. There was once a provision in the Family Law Act that provided that the court must take into consideration the wishes of the child over the age of 14 years. That provision was removed in about 1996. There is no age at which a child is able to make his or her own decision as to which parent he or she will live with.

However, the court will take into account the wishes of the child and the weight of those wishes will depend upon the level of maturity of the child and the age of the child. The wishes of children are usually obtained through a report writer engaged by the Court or the Independent Children’s Lawyer.

This is general information only and is not legal advice. You should obtain specific legal advice regarding your specific circumstances. © Family Lawyers & Mediation Services. All rights reserved. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.