The court in Australia decides a child’s care arrangements if the separating parents cannot come to an agreement. The Australian court usually allows access for both the parents and it is only in exceptional circumstances where one parent is entirely prohibited from spending time with their child.
The home life of your child is critical to their well being. It is important that the Court is made aware of any factors which may impact your child in a parent’s care.
As the most experienced child custody lawyers Perth, we can help you comprehensively present your case and help ensure that your child is in the best possible care arrangement.
When discussing the care arrangements of a child in the Australian legal system, the term parental responsibility and care arrangments are used. However, colloquially, this is also known as child custody. Parental Responsibility and care arrangements are separate matters. Parental responsibility refers to the ability of the parents to make decisions for the children such as where they go to school and medical issues. Care arrangements refer to where the children shall live and what time they will spend with the other parent.
A parent may seek an order of ‘sole or full custody’ giving them the power of making decisions concerning the children’s life without consulting the other parent and for the children to live with them. When deciding if sole or full custody should be granted, the Court will consider above all else, the best interests of the child. When determining the best interests of the child, the Court will have regard to matters such as:
Although sole or full custody may be awarded to a parent, the Court often allows the other parent to communicate and spend time with their child, although this may bewith supervision if there are concerns regarding the other parent. This is called ‘supervised contact’ and supervision can be arranged through specialised service providers or other family members if appropriate.
Child Custody In Same-Sex Relationships
The Australian legal system does not distinguish same-sex relationships and so all the same legal procedures and regulations apply to the children of same-sex relationships. If you are separating but worried for the children, our child support lawyers will help you ensure their best interest.
The Court’s paramount consideration when determining a child’s care arrangements is the child’s best interest. A child’s care arrangement can be made in the following two ways:
Our skilled lawyers can provide you with valuable child custody advice regarding which option would be most appropriate for you and your child.
The Australian family court’s primary consideration is the best interest of the child when determining appropriate care arrangements. With the help of our family lawyer Perth, you can get the best representation. When trying to reach an out-of-court arrangement, we can provide you with the most in-depth knowledge of your legal rights and obligations. We pride ourselves on providing the best child custody advice for your unique circumstances.
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There is no set limit of how much time it takes to resolve a custody battle. The first step is usually mitigation, where most of the cases are resolved. After that, comes the long and costly –both emotionally and financially – custody battle. On an average, if you are sure about your demands, a custody battle can take six months to a year to be properly resolved.
To ensure an amicable solution is reached where both the parents can spend time with their children, the following methods can be applied:
It can if one of the parents with custody has mental illness, is not taking medical help about it, and has not disclosed this fact during the custody proceedings. Children are susceptible to their growth environment – exposure to a non-optimal situation can affect their mental health as well. Incidentally, your mental illness could negatively affect your position in the child custody battle.
There is no time limit for child custody application. Essentially, as long as the children is below 18 years, you can apply for child custody in the family court. However, if a parenting agreement is already in place for a considerable amount of time – the court is less likely to change it unless you can prove that it is in the best interest of the child.
The court decides and activates parenting orders keeping the best interest of the child in consideration. However, longer a parenting order is in effect, the court is less likely to change it. Unless some significant reason arises that the court considers appropriate to re-open the issue of the child custody as per the Rule in the case of Rice and Plunder, the court will not modify a child custody order.
The family court determine child custody matters mainly on the ‘paramountcy principle’ that state that any decision the court takes has to be on the best interest of the child. In addition, the family court takes two considerations into account under the Section 60C of the Family Law Act:
• The child should have a meaningful relationship with both of the child’s parents
• The child should be protected from physical or psychological harm resulting from being subjected, or exposed, to abuse, neglect or family violence.
The unmarried mother gets sole custody of the child as soon as he is born. The father is legally prohibited from making contact with the child without a court order. Legitimately, there is no supposition of paternity; meaning unwed fathers are not, by default, expected to have a biological relation to their children. Likewise, unwed mothers cannot demand child support from unwed fathers.
Private custody agreements are agreements that two broken-up parents draft themselves (with or without the help of an attorney) and present it to the court. The court can accept the agreement as-is, change certain clauses it deems unfair, reject certain provisions entirely. Therefore, it is a good idea to take the help of a family lawyer before presenting the agreement to the court.
The court will always look for the best interest of the child, although coincidentally, statistics show that the father has less chance of winning a custody battle under normal circumstances. So, you can do the following preparations before going to the court:
• Work out the issues you and your partner do not agree on.
• Gather admissible evidence pertinent to your case.
• Keep records of the case in detail.
As these activities will play a significant role on the court’s decision, it is better to appoint an experienced family lawyer.
According to Australian legal system, neither the Commonwealth nor the states and territories have special judicial ability in the aspects of Family law. In every state and territories of the country, the federal parliament has jurisdiction over marriage, divorce, parenting and family property on separation, excepting Western Australia. States and territories have jurisdiction over child adoption and welfare. So, in most states, child custody laws are similar.