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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34277
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Can a judge concider a 6 years old wishes when deciding

Customer Question

Can a judge concider a 6 years old wishes when deciding which parent she will live with?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. A judge will likely agree to speak with the child if the matter is heavily contested, however her wishes and feelings will not be the deciding or paramount factor when the judge makes a decision as, at 6 years old, she is too young for it to be the deciding factor.

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Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

My name is ***** ***** I have been a solicitor for more than 30 years.

It is unlikely in the extreme that a Judge would wish to see a six year old on a matter such as this.

There is an increasing possibility that an older child (say above 12 - potentially even over 10) might see the Judge , but since the understanding of abstract concepts and long term consequences does not develop until the age of 9 no six year old would ever be asked directly who they wished to live with (and indeed it would be abusive to do so)

If the Court required a report on the "wishes and feelings" of the child then it would be carried out by either a CAFCASS officer or Social Services who use a range of methods to ascertain not only what the wishes are - but also how realistic they are

Please ask if you need further details

Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34277
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare,
Thank you for your reply. But my question was prompted by seeing in the CAFCASS report to the court that CAFCASS have asked her, when she was just 5 years old, which of us she wants to live with. I was shocked as I felt this question was very abusive.
Just last weekend my daughter, now 6, said "I don't mind if you win, Mummy". This clearly indicates that my ex-husband or his family have discussed the case in her presence, which is specifically prohibited by Court Order. I have never mentioned the existence of a case or any conflict that could result in a "win" with her.
I appreciate your advice on how to tackle these issues.
Rute
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Ah I see

As i said it is the job of CAFCASS to ascertain the "wishes and feelings" of the child and they use a range of methods to ascertain not only what the wishes are - but also how realistic they are.

With regard to the fact that the other parent is clearly discussing matters with the child all you can do is report the matter to the court at the final hearing