Morton & Berry 2014 FamCAFC 208

The case involved a child aged 10 years who had by consent been living with the mother and spending time with the father.  The father applied for a change in orders for the child to live with him, reporting that the child had stated a wish to live with the father (child’s wishes).  The mother opposed the application, saying that the current arrangements were working well and that there were no significant changed circumstances.

The child had been assessed by a family consultant three years earlier and at that time had not expressed a preference about which parent to live with.  The father submitted a page containing a list of reasons given by the child for wanting to no longer live with the mother.

The judge dismissed the father’s application without ordering an updated independent assessment of the child’s views by a family consultant.

The Appeal Court accepted the appeal and arranged for a re-hearing.