R & R 2010 FCWA 69

The judge discussed the weight to give to the expressed wishes of a girl aged 9 years to live with her mother (child’s wishes).  The judge found the girl to be of above average intelligence and maturity, and the girl expressed her views confidently and in a very forthright fashion. The girl was sensitive and insightful.

The father argued that the mother had attempted to bribe the girl by offering a pony if she lived with the mother (artifical inducement).  The girl commented that her father would be ok now that another woman was living with her father, and the father would not be alone.

The judge accepted the girl’s views as genuine and not the result of undue influence.  The judge reported that he placed significant weight on the child’s expressed views (capacity to decide).