When my child turns 16 can s/he decide who they want to live with?
Many people think that when a child turns a certain age (e.g. 16) they can automatically decide which parent they want to live with. Family law orders can be made about a child until he/she turns 18. The older and/or more mature a child is the greater the weight the court may give to their wishes (section 60CC Family Law Act). The views of the child however are only one factor that must be looked at when considering orders that are in the child’s overall best interests.
My ex wants to go and live interstate with the kids and I don’t agree. Can I stop her?
Yes. You can make an application to the Court for an injunction until the matter is fully considered by the Court. An injunction is like a restraining order which is put in place to stop the residence of the children being relocated interstate. However even if this order is made on a short term basis the Court may decide that in the longer term it is in the best interests of the children for them to live interstate.
I have applied for divorce & have had to include information about my children does this mean I have a parenting order?
No. A divorce application is a separate proceeding to parenting and/or property proceedings. However, the Court may not grant a divorce unless it is satisfied suitable arrangements have been made for any children under 18. This is why information about children under 18 needs to be included in the divorce application.
I want to apply for a divorce – does my ex need to agree?
No. A divorce application can be made by one person as a sole application or by both parties as a joint application. If an application is made and your ex-partner doesn’t agree the matter can be listed for a hearing.