Children’s rights – Does what my child want matter in family custody cases


Children’s rights- Does what my child want matter?

  • Does my child have a voice?
  • Does what my child want matter?
  • How can my child be heard?


If you are going through a separation or thinking about separating and considering parenting arrangements, the above questions (along with many others!) might be going through your mind. Separation can be challenging, and clients are often concerned about the effect that the process will have on their child/ren.

A key concern for many clients is whether their child’s wishes or views matter and how they can be heard.

The Family Law Act provides a list of considerations in determining parenting arrangements. The primary consideration is the best interests of the child. This means that in considering parenting arrangements, the parties are invited to consider what might be in the child’s best interests.

There is age that a child’s views or wishes will be the solely determinate consideration, there are a number of considerations.  Also, it is important to note that each family law matter is different and there are a number of factors (which may be particularly unique to your matter) that will affect the weight that will be placed on your child’s wishes.

If your matter is in Court, there are a number of ways that your child’s views may be heard, including:

  1. Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL)
  2. Child Inclusive Conference (CIC)
  3. Family Report

You may also consider seeking the assistance of a psychologist or other support person.

It is important to remember that each family law matter is different and there are a number of circumstances which are unique to every case.

If you are thinking about or going through separation and would like some advice relating to parenting matters and how your child’s wishes may be heard, please contact Claire Naidu & Co  – click here for our contact details. We would love to speak with you about the process and your options.


Note: This blog does not constitute legal advice and Claire Naidu & Co is not responsible for any reliance upon its contents.   If you seek legal advice, contact us!