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VIC Custody of Children - Consent Orders versus Childrens Rights

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Houseplant, 13 March 2015.

  1. Houseplant

    Houseplant Member

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    There has been consent orders in place regarding shared custody of children (50% time spent with each parent) for my daughter since 2009. The consent order does not show an expiry date and I believe this means it is in place until she is 18.

    My daughter is currently 16 years of age and has expressed the want to live with me and visit her father for weekends. At the age of 17 my daughter will be free to leave home of her own accord and be under neither parents control. Does this mean she can leave just one home in favour of the other one at age 17?

    Thanking you in anticipation.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    If this were to be heard afresh before the court, the court would likely make orders summarily that 'the child live with the mother and spend time with the father in accordance with her wishes'. Children over the age of 12 are generally deemed matured enough and informed enough to make their own decision about which parent they live with and how often they see the other parent.

    If you wish to have this reflected in orders, I would suggest inviting the father to a child-inclusive mediation. That way, you, your child and the child's father can discuss care arrangements that take into account your child's wishes and have them organised into a parenting plan, which supersedes parenting orders if an agreement is made.

    Has your child discussed her wishes with the father?
     
  3. Houseplant

    Houseplant Member

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    Thank you for your response. At this stage she has not discussed her wishes with her father as she knows he will be hostile to the idea. The original consent orders for shared custody were based on the family physiologist report recommending a 50% split. Her father was only prepared initially to give me access for two days per fortnight. Her father is also hostile to the idea of mediation, at the last mediation through Relationships Australia, the mediator sent him home before it had even begun, recognising his hostility and uncooperative attitude.
     

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