There is no set age in the law that confirms exactly when a child can decide they don’t want to see a parent. However, a child can legally decide who they want to live with at the age of 16. 

The law is a little complex when it comes to children deciding not to have contact with a parent, but generally speaking, the court will judge this on a case-by-case basis. 

Depending on the age of the child, the court will seek to understand what the child wants so that they feel included in the process and that their thoughts and feelings are being considered. The judge will want to know that the child understands what is happening and the result of their decision. The court will aim to capture these feelings through conversations and Cafcass reports. 


If the child is in danger as a result of having contact with a parent, then the court will put their safety first. However in all cases regardless of the age of the child, the court will consider their best interests and this includes gauging their opinions. 


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