parenting orders are always based on the best interests of the children.
the characteristics of the child/parent relationship
The Family Law Act 1975, which is the bible for family relationships in Australia, does not by design distinguish between father’s rights and mother’ rights when it comes to child custody.
Parenting orders are always based on the best interests of the children. It is always preferable for both parents to come to a mutual agreement when considering child custody arrangements. If this and mediation are impossible to achieve, then going to court will be necessary.
When deciding the care of the children the court has to look at primary considerations and additional considerations. These primary considerations do not favour one or other of the parents but the important thing is that:
- a meaningful relationship must take place between the children and both parents
- no harm will come to the children when engaged in the relationships.
Often, parenting applications conflict so the Court then looks at additional factors which are laid out in Section 60CC (3) Family Law Act 1975
Additional factors include:
The views expressed by the child or children, taking into account the maturity of the child or children and their level of understanding
How willing the parents are in encouraging a relationship between the children and the other parent. How the child or children will be affected by any changes that are to take place in relation to their parents
- The ability of the parents and any other persons to be able to provide for the needs of the child
- The maturity, background and lifestyle of the parents and their children
- The attitude of both the parents to parenting
- Any incidence of family violence
- If there are or have been any family violence orders
If a father believes he has not been treated fairly when arranging child custody arrangements, then seeking legal advice and representation may be necessary before the Consent Order is signed.
Once a parenting order has been validated it is legally binding and covers who the child will live with and the precise amount of time a child will be permitted to spend with the other parent including any form of communication
It is always preferable for the father and mother to come to an out of court arrangement for child care but this isn’t always possible so an application for a parenting order has to be filed with either the Federal Circuit Court or the Family Court so that the father’s and mother’s rights are upheld.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.