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QLD Consent Orders and Age of Child to Make Decisions?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by jo.qld, 5 October 2014.

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  1. jo.qld

    jo.qld Member

    5 October 2014
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    I just have a question regarding the age of a child when they can can have a say about consent orders. My stepson is 13 and has asked his mother if he can possibly split his holidays with her and staying home as he feels he is missing out on being a teenager by not being able to 'hang out' and have that peer connection. Our consent orders are that he lives with us and spends all school holidays with his mother. He is not asking to not spend any time with her at all, just maybe half with her and half at home. His mother has said straight up no and that he will not be able to until he is 18.

    I would just like to know where we stand under family law with this as I feel he is trying to be fair but to no avail.

    Thanks for any feedback :)
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    23 July 2014
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    If it were before a court, the judge would likely put significant weight on your step-child's opinion based on age and maturity.

    However, courts rarely reopen cases where final orders have been issued - they want parents to work out their parenting matters together, which is why it's easier to get final orders changed by consent rather than by another proceeding.

    Given your step son's age, I would highly recommend child-inclusive mediation with the father, mother and child. That way, both parents can ensure their son is heard and that his best interests are met by the decisions they make about his care arrangements.
  3. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

    16 April 2014
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    As AllforHer has indicated, its s tricky situation because, forcing the child to do something he doesn't want to do is ultimately going to damage his relationship with his mother in the long run, and both parents need to respect the child's reasonable wishes. A court would definitely have regard to your son's preferences in this case, so as parents you both should also. However, if you are able to get the matter resolved through mediation - where issues and feelings can be talked about, it will likely result in a better outcome all round without the expense of legal fees.

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