Divorcing with children can lead to parents getting a sole parental responsibility order. A sole custody order is also another term for this. A sole parental responsibility order includes being solely accountable for the children’s long-term decisions.
Additionally, a sole parental responsibility order involves having control over the child’s religion, medical care, school attendance, and food. This order implies complete and total accountability for all significant life decisions until the children reach eighteen. This article will explain how to get a sole parental responsibility order in detail.
What Is Parental Responsibility?
Section 61B of the Family Law Act 1975 sets the duties, and authority that parents of children under the age of 18 have over their children. Australia’s family law system upholds equal shared parental responsibility
This means both parents of the child will share equal responsibility for the child’s day-to-day choices.
Equal shared parental responsibility does not imply that both parents will spend the same amount of time with the child.
A parent may even only see their child on special occasions. Examples of these are birthdays, Christmas, and school holidays, depending on living arrangements. Parental responsibility indicates that both partners are jointly responsible for serious long-term choices such as:
- Cultural development
- Medical attention;
- The child’s name;
- Religious beliefs;
- Cultural education;
- Health matters, and;
- Educational concerns
Importantly, you must remember that “equal shared parental responsibility” simply refers to the “distribution” of parental duty for a child. This does not necessarily imply that both parents will get the same amount of time with their children.
On the other hand, a sole parental responsibility order could only apply to particular elements of the children’s lives. For example, one parent may be awarded sole custody of the children’s education and religious engagement, while all other aspects of parenting may be shared.
Who Is Eligible To Apply For A Sole Parental Responsibility Order?
You do not need to be divorced or separated to apply for a sole parental responsibility order. The child’s parents can obtain this order even if they are still married or living together. Notably, grandparents also have the right to apply for a sole parental responsibility order.
If you seek sole custody, you must file an application for a Parenting Order with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. You must show that the presumption of shared equal parental responsibility is not in your child’s best interests. There should also be evidence that they may suffer from physical or emotional harm.
Applying For A Sole Parental Responsibility Order
A parent seeking a sole parental responsibility order will naturally handle all of the above mentioned choices for the child. The Family Law Act presumes that it is in the child’s best interests for both parents to share parental responsibility for the children.
As a result, an application to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia will be required. This includes a sole responsibility order rebutting the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility. Among the arguments for rebutting the presumption are whether:
- One of the parents is physically or mentally abusing the child or children.
- The child or children have been the victims of family violence.
- One parent is making decisions that are not in the best interests of the children.
- One of the parents suffers from a mental ailment that prevents them from making smart judgments for their children.
- There are fears that the parents may be unable to communicate or agree on important child-related choices.
The Court must assess whether the orders are in the best interests of the children when imposing sole parental responsibility. If the court instructions are followed, the parent will be awarded sole custody of the child.
Sole Parental Responsibility Order: What Are The Benefits?
Getting sole custody of your child is possible for parents. To do this, you must file for a sole parental responsibility order to the Family Court of Australia. In general, the Court will only award you exclusive possession if it’s in the child’s best interests.
They will take into account the nature of the child’s connections with you and the other parent. Additionally, the court will determine if there are reasonable grounds to suspect child abuse. Moreover, they can assess if there is a danger of psychological injury or child abuse.
Acquiring a sole parental responsibility order means you may make decisions concerning the child’s future without the other parent’s consent. A passport application for the child may be one of these decisions.
Sole custody may imply that you and the other parent, or even a grandparent, have equal time with the child. Nevertheless, any decisions made concerning the kid are solely the duty of the parent with exclusive parental responsibility.
Small & Small (2016)
In a recent case, the Family Court gave the mother exclusive custody due to aggravating factors. The court took into account a number of factors. This includes the fact that the father did not spend much time with the children.
Furthermore, there was evidence of domestic violence and sexual abuse subjected to the children. Because the children had unique needs, the court determined that living with their mother was in their best interests.
You must apply for a parenting order with the Family Court of Australia to get exclusive parenting duty. A parenting order is a legal document that describes the parenting arrangement your kid has with the other parent.
A parenting order can be established after a court hearing. Parents can also formalise an agreement with a consent order. Applying for such orders can be time-consuming when dealt with alone, so it’s necessary to seek legal advice.
JB Solicitor’s Legal Advice
We believe family violence should not be present in a child’s life. The process can even get more difficult when applying for parenting orders. That’s why at JB Solicitors, we’ll walk you through the proper procedures for acquiring these orders.
Our seasoned lawyers are experienced in dealing with parenting orders for the right parent. Moreover, we can also prepare legal documents for you and represent you in court hearings if deemed necessary.
Reach out to JB Solicitors today. Lastly, you can also watch our video below to learn more about applying for full custody of your child.