There is no particular age when a child can decide where they want to live. The weight given to a child’s wish to live with one parent varies according to their age and the level of maturity behind their reasons for wanting to live with that parent. The older the child, the more likely the maturity of the child and therefore the greater the likelihood that their wishes will be given consideration.
It is still possible that you might be required to make a child support payment even if you have shared care of your children. This can be because of the differences in income between you and the other parent.
You will not always need to go to court in relation to a dispute about the parenting arrangements for your children. Usually court is the last process used to try and resolve a dispute.
Before you can go to court you will normally undertake Family Dispute Resolution (FDR). However if the arrangements for your children are unable to be resolved using a process of FDR and a court proceeding is necessary then you will need to be present at the court for the Hearing.
No. It is very rare for a child to be directly involved in the court process. If children are of an age where their wishes need to be ascertained this is usually achieved through a Family Report. Another method of ascertaining what a child’s wishes are is through meetings with a Family Consultant.