The government has committed to ensuring that children and young people from the age of 10 will be allowed to voice their opinions in the family court, rather than just being pulled through the system.
When decisions are being made in family courts that will affect a child’s future then the child will have the right to have access to the judge in an appropriate manner to express their views.
This change will also be applied to the mediator sector in the same way, with children having contact with the mediator in order to assist in the decision making process about their future.
The age 10 has been chosen to keep in-line with the age of criminal responsibility across the country. The decision has been welcomed by many who have spent years campaigning for this change. Further work is going to be carried out to ensure all children and young people are able to voice their opinions in the family courts safely and appropriately with extra protection for anyone deemed as vulnerable.