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NSW Custody of Children and School When Daughter Grows Up

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Rob81, 26 November 2015.

  1. Rob81

    Rob81 Member

    10 June 2014
    Likes Received:

    A few questions I would love any guidance on....

    1. I have 50/50 custody of children of my 8year old daughter (S) with my ex. It was agreed years ago that this was in her best interest. S, however, tells me each week for the past few years that she doesn't want to go home to her dad, because he yells all the time, doesn't look after her, etc., so she would rather live with me (I can't control how he treats her when I'm not around).

    It breaks my heart listening to her cry and beg to stay every time our week is over, but I'm powerless to change that...

    To my understanding (from what I've heard), the child can't decide who to live with until she/he is at least 12years old. Is this true, and if so, what happens at that time for me to be able to enforce her wishes over my ex's? What steps do I take? If I'm wrong in my understanding, what is the correct info?

    2. My ex and I have differing opinions as to our daughter's schooling needs for high school. She is currently going (and has been since starting school) to a school about 15 mins from my ex's house, whilst I travel approximately an hour each morning and afternoon to drop her off & pick her up. I don't have an issue with this, as I would rather she finish her primary schooling at the school she started.

    In 2 years, however, when she starts high school, I would like to take her to a school closer to my home for a change. What are my rights under Family Law if I still share custody with my ex at that time vs if she has her desire to live with me?

    My ex will never agree, and my daughter's opinion will be the least of their concerns, so what are my options come the time?

    Any assistance in these matters is greatly appreciated
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Guest

    Hi Rob81,

    The court may take into account the opinion of a child under 12 years depending on their level of maturity for their age. In order to change custody arrangements however, you would need to either come to an agreement with your ex or alternatively apply to the family court.

    Which school your child will attend, is a decision that is to be made jointly by the parents unless a sole responsibility order has been made. Even if only one parent has primary custody of the child, this doesn't give them the right to decide on their own which school the child attends. When parental responsibility is shared however the court can still make a final decision as to the choice of school for the child. If the child is mature enough to understand the implication of the decision, the court will give significant consideration to their preference of school however they can depart from their preference if it is in their best interests. The court will also take into account the most practical arrangements for travelling to and from school and what impact they will have on the child. The overriding principal the court gives attention to is the best interest of the child.

    If you do not want to go through the expense of a court application you will have to come to an agreement with your ex.

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