Wishes of the Child
The wishes of the child do not affect a custody or access case until the children are 12 years of
age or within a year or two of that age. Once children approach such an age their wishes can be
put before the children in a variety of ways.
The Ontario Child’s Counsel (OCL). a government funded agency that retains lawyers across the
Province to provide services to children as their own lawyer. Depending upon the circumstances,
a court appointed OCL would meet with a child, ascertain the wishes of the child and put those
wishes before the court.
Ontario courts on occasion may appoint a psychiatrist or psychologist to prepare an assessment
before the court and the child’s wishes may be put forward in such assessment.
A court could decide to meet with a child in the Judge’s chambers, although this method is not
The child could be called as a witness, depending upon the child and upon the circumstances.
Please note: If you are involved in a matrimonial dispute, we
strongly recommend that you retain a lawyer to represent
you at the first possible opportunity;
This site and this note are designed only to acquaint you with a
few (and only a few) of the issues that may affect you.
It is not intended as legal advice on any specific case.
You are well advised to retain the services of an
experienced lawyer as soon as possible.