Child Custody

The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (“the Courts”) have the power under the Family Law Act 1975 (“FLA”) to make Orders which deal with all relevant aspects of the parenting of a child, including but not limited to the following:

  • The allocation of parental responsibility for a child (who is able to make decisions concerning the long term care, welfare and development of a child);
  • The person or persons with whom a child is to live;
  • The time that a child is to spend with another person;
  • The access that a parent or another person has to a child’s educational, health and other such records.

The above is certainly not an exhaustive list.  Each case will be determined on its own issues, with the paramount consideration for the Courts being the best interests of the child.  The objects and principles of the FLA are to ensure that the best interests of a child are met by:

  1. Ensuring that the child has the benefit of both parents having a meaningful relationship in his or her life;
  2. Protecting the child from physical or psychological harm sustained through exposure to abuse, neglect or family violence;
  3. Ensuring that a child receives adequate and proper parenting to help him or her to achieve their full potential; and
  4. Ensuring that parents fulfil their duties and meet their responsibilities towards the care, welfare and development of the child.

There are various considerations the Courts take into account when determining the appropriate parenting Orders to be made in each case.  The Courts are assisted in some cases by way of the opinions of experts such as psychologists, psychiatrists or counsellors who see the parties and the children in interviews, analyse relevant documents such as health and police records, and provide their recommendations as to suitable parenting arrangements in the circumstances of each case.  Again, not all cases are the same, and each will be determined based on the guiding principles and objects of the legislation.

For advice in relation to the above or any other Family Law issues please do not hesitate to contact our office to arrange an initial half-an-hour conference with one of our lawyers, free of charge on 03 9366 5555

To book a consultation with our family law team, call us today on 03 9366 5555.