K and O 2009 FCWA

The case involved an 8 year old boy where there was dispute between the parents about access times.

Child’s Wishes

The boy spoke to a family consultant about the fairness of his spending time with the two parents.

The family consultant commented that it is common for 8 year old boys to want to spend increased time with their fathers (child’s wishes). The consultant said that relationships between 8 year old boys and their fathers were often less intense than relationships with the mother, and therefore smoother.

The judge stated that he would not give weight to a child’s statements about fairness of arrangements as this relates to the child’s concerns about the happiness of the parent, rather than to the best interests of the child.

Changed Circumstances

The judge found that the Rice and Asplund test of changed circumstances was met in the case as the child was functioning poorly in school, and the mother proposed to embark on a new relationship that would impact on the boy (re-partnered).