WA Daughter's Right to Choose Not to See Her Father?

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28 August 2014
My daughter is 13 years old. She lives with me, her mother 100% of the time (custody of children). Her brother is 19 and also lives with me. I have been separated/divorced from their father for 8.5 years and in that time he has had live-in partners and numerous girlfriends which the children have been forced to accept and share their father's time with when they visited him.

Eight years ago he was court ordered to have my daughter for 6 nights per fortnight, however that has never really been adhered to as the children did not want to spend that amount of time with the partner he had at the time, nor her children who also lived there. Over the years it dwindled down to one night every second weekend. My daughter has not wanted to spend more than a few hours at a time with him for the past couple of years due:

1) to his inappropriate behaviour with his now 'ex' girlfriend in front of her,
2) the latest live-in girlfriend,
3) she has been forced to spend time with people (his girlfriends) that she doesn't like since she was 4 1/2 years old, so now just wants to have a say in where, and with whom she spends her time. In the past she had her brother with her, however now she is expected to go there alone and she does not feel comfortable doing this.

My question is, does my daughter have the right to state when, and if, she sees her father? At the moment she doesn't want him in her life at all, and has felt this way for the past couple of years, but is continually pressured by him to accept the current girlfriend and to spend very second weekend with them which means her sport and social life is interrupted . Thanks for your advice.

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Mia,

Your daughter does have a right to state her wishes in whether or not, or how frequently, she see's her father. If she is distressed about her father pressuring her to comply with the court's order, then she may ask, through you, for a revision of the order by court. However, this should only be done if it is what your daughter wants. If she is happy to ignore her father's pressure, then there's no need to seek intervention. She has a right to request to not see her father.

Your daughter's interests are paramount and all that matters here.

Her father should not be worried about possibly breaching the court order since he has done what is reasonably expected to try and meet his obligations. To be safe, I would suggest writing an amendment to the ordered timeframe, by stating your daughter's wishes along with your consent and signed by all three parties.