In child custody Australia laws, the primary focus is the arrangements for the child and their security. The best interests of the children are the most important concern in Australian family law. It is the children’s right to spend time with their parents.
Every child has the right to have meaningful relationships with his or her parents. Because of this, child custody Australia prioritises the child’s safety. Parenting roles have diverse combinations and possibilities.
The Family Law Act 1975 helps with these parenting roles. The Act is gender-neutral and makes no assumptions about parenting duties. These standards also cover a variety of other topics such as property division upon divorce. Additionally, we’ll cover more about child custody Australia below.
Best Interests Of The Child
Parents’ attention should focus on their child’s best interests. Courts prefer not to deprive the custody rights of parents. Unless deemed necessary, it needs some justification. Child custody and visitation agreements examine a variety of essential considerations.
The best interests of the child consider variables that are taken into account. Parents should consider the following to increase their chance of visitation or custody:
- Their financial capability
- If they are emotionally present for their child
- If they can provide a safe space for their child
- Their ability to give love and respect to their child
The court will consider the following in determining what is best for the children:
- Who the children have previously lived with;
- The nature of the children’s relationships with their respective parents;
- Each parent’s address;
- Where the children attend school
- The location of the children’s extended family;
- The cultural needs of children;
- Any other circumstances that are relevant.
Child Custody Australia: Parental Responsibility
Laws related to child custody Australia differ depending on the child’s age. When a child is a minor (under the age of 18), each parent shares joint parental responsibility for the child. This is known as equal shared parental responsibility.
Both parents are required to make major long-term decisions for their children. These decisions cover a wide range of life choices, including education, health, and religion. The family court will order that the parents share responsibility whenever possible.
In some situations, this will not be possible. The court may find that removing parental responsibility from one or both parents is in the best interests of the child. Keep in mind that sharing parental responsibilities equally does not imply spending equal time with your children.
Many people have misconceptions regarding their legal rights to equal contact with both parents. Furthermore, parental responsibility for the children will apply regardless of:
- Whether the child’s parents were ever married;
- In a de facto relationship or;
- In any other exceptional condition.
Child Custody Australia: Equal Shared Parental Responsibility
Child custody Australia laws establish a legal basis that it is in the child’s best interests for both parents to share parental duty equally. Section 61DA establishes this assumption. However, this assumption does not apply in some cases.
An example is if a parent has abused the child or another child in the household, or has engaged in domestic violence. This assumption can be denied if there equal shared parental responsibility was not in the best interests of the child.
Contrary to common belief, there are no specific guidelines for which parent children should live with and spend time with. Previously, each party made arrangements for custody or contact. However, child custody Australia laws no longer involve these phrases.
In most circumstances, each parent will consider the child’s requirements before agreeing on housing arrangements and time-sharing. Parents don’t need to go to court if they are unable to reach an agreement. A court can approve written custody arrangements through a consent order.
Depending on the existing situation of the two parents’ partnership, these negotiations can get more complicated. When a kid is born to an unmarried mother, she is automatically given sole custody of the child.
Without a court ruling, the father has no legal right to see his child. A father needs consensual agreement to see the child. In addition, a father must establish paternity to see his child.
Common Parenting Orders:
Majority of parenting orders in child custody Australia laws include equal shared parental responsibility. These parenting orders may issue who the children live with and spend time with. Common parenting orders include:
- The children spend half of their time with each parent
- That the children live primarily with one parent but visit the other parent on occasion. For instance, the children may live with their mother. Then they spend every other weekend and half of the school holidays with their father.
- That the children live with one parent and spend time with the other parent on a regular basis.
- The children live with one parent and have limited contact with the other. Contact may be supervised by another family member,. Some examples are grandparents, concerned government bodies, or private company-run contact centres.
Do these parenting orders seem vague? Read these articles for more information:
After a divorce, regardless of which parent the child lives with, each parent is responsible for financially supporting their children. These financial costs are typically managed by parents jointly. Circumstances may make monetary support for a child impossible.
This is where the Department of Human Services (DHS) comes in. The DHS can administer child support programmes to help parents support their children. These services are provided following a child support assessment.
Importance Of Seeking A Child Custody Lawyer
Divorce can be a difficult and stressful time for both parties. More so, it also has a significant impact on the children. All current and ongoing actions should be centred on what is best for your children right now, while also considering the future.
JB Solicitors can help you navigate complex child custody Australia laws by providing jargon-free legal advice. Our solicitors can help you arrange effective custody arrangements for you and your child. Another approach our clients can take is our mediation services. This way, a peaceful agreement can be settled and prevent disputes on parenting orders and arrangements.
Send us a message today about your child custody needs.