mothers have rights to their children
It is not biased towards either the mother’s or father’s rights but its primary concern is the interest of the child or children. Any parenting orders that are legalised determine the best interests of the child as the main consideration.
It is often thought that the mother has more rights than the father when it comes to child custody. In reality though, it might be that either one of the parents may be more suitable to have custody of the children.
The mother can never be absolutely sure if she will gain custody when a divorce has taken place, as the primary considerations do not favour one or other of the parents, as the best interests of the child come first.
Whether it’s by mutual arrangement between the two parents, or mediation has to be undertaken to come to an agreement, or taking the matter to court the outcome of child custody should ensure that:
- meaningful relationships take place between both parents and the children;
- no harm will come to the children when engaged in the relationships;
- if any circumstances change in relation to the person who has custody then changes have to be made to the custody arrangements.
Even though the Family Law Court has its specifications when it comes to mother’s or father’s rights to child custody they are open to interpretation and often parenting applications conflict so the Court has additional factors to use which are presented in Section 60CC (3) Family Law Act 1975
Some of these additional factors include:
- What the child or children think about possible custody arrangements;
- how willing the parents are in relation to encouraging the child to have a relationship with the other parent;
- whether the parents have the ability to provide for the child’s or children’s requirements;
- the present lifestyle of the parents and their children;
- what the parents think about parenting responsibilities;
- whether there is any evidence of family violence or a family violence order is current.
If a mother believes she has not been treated fairly when finalising child custody arrangements, then legal advice and legal representation may be required before any Consent Order is signed.
Once a parenting consent order has been agreed upon by signature, it is legally binding and covers:
- which parent the child will reside with;
- the exact amount of time a child will be allowed 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 submitted to either the Federal Circuit Court or the Family Court so that 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.