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Child Custody Rights for Fathers in Australia
The notion of parental responsibility refers to the duties, authority and influence all parents have in regards to their children, notwithstanding the status of the relationship of the parents. Parental responsibility must be upheld until children are 18 and over. Both parents bear the responsibility.
Governed by parenting orders under the Family Law Act 1975 and administered by the Family Court of Australia, responsibilities extend to the living arrangements of children; time allocated to parents and other family members; different types of parental responsibility; communication between parties; and further facets regarding welfare.
Times of conflict often present parents with difficult situations to deal with. Courts may be responsible of making arrangements in some instances. This will meet the needs of all.
A verbal agreement is as simple as both parties coming to a mutual understanding, on spoken terms. A written agreement further clarifies the terms of the arrangement; however these are not enforceable by law. A Parenting Order must be written, signed and witnessed by a third party.
Before a Parenting Order is enforced, Courts will consider the following factors in the best interest of the child:
- Protection from any harm, physical, psychological, mental or other
- Importance of both parents’ involvement in child’s upbringing
- Allocation of parental responsibility and determining the duty and role each parent must fulfill
- Willingness and capability of each parent to meet “allocated” responsibilities
This applies to both fathers and mothers with equal rights. Some may view the law as prejudice against fathers and this is due to the natural physical bond children and mothers have in the early stages of childhood. This bond however does not mean child custody is in favor of mothers- with the law (and science) recognizing the consistency and stable relationships children need from both mother and father figures.
According to our family solicitors, parents can help children in the following ways:
During these volatile times, children may be subject to difficult circumstances and the change is coming. Parents must assure their children know they are loved and are acting in their best interest.
In making arrangements or in areas of unpredictability, parents should avoid fighting in front of children or subjecting them to any tension that may arise. In the instance of a discussion, it best both parties address the circumstance in private rather than in front of children.
Communication is key. This is important in all facets, especially during these circumstances. Parents should frequently communicate with their children about what is happening and the current situation. Parent should also willingly address any concerns children may have.
By offering continuous support, especially emotional support, parents can assist in easing any hardships that may come with the forthcoming arrangements. Providing guidance will provide a sense of comfort and ease and strengthen the bond between parents and children.
For more information from a family lawyer in Sydney and Brisbane, contact us on 1800 PROMINENT.
The comments in the article are general in nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. Anyone intending to apply the information contained in this newsletter should seek their own professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information’s applicability to their particular circumstances. This article is issued as a helpful guide to clients and for their private information. Therefore, it should be regarded as confidential and not be made available to any person without our prior approval.
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