The wishes of the child do not affect a custody or access case until the children approach 12 years of age. At this age their wishes can be put before the children in a variety of ways.
The Ontario Child’s Counsel (OCL), a government funded agency, retains lawyers across the Province to represent children in court. Depending upon the circumstances, a court appointed OCL would meet with a child, ascertain the wishes of the child and put their wishes before the court.
Ontario courts on occasion may appoint a psychiatrist or psychologist to prepare an assessment for the court and the child’s wishes may be put forward in such assessment.
A judge could meet with the child in chambers, although this method has fallen out of favour in recent years.
The child could be called as a witness, depending upon the child and upon the facts.