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Anything to do with Children in the Family Law realm must be in the best interests of the child/ren.
The Family Law Act (Cth) 1975 does not refer to what is in Mum’s or Dad’s best interests!
Parents have rights and responsibilities, and generally (unless a Court orders otherwise) have parental responsibility. Parental responsibility is defined as, “all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to Children”.
The Family Law Act also says that “In deciding whether to make a particular parenting order in relation to a child, a court must regard the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration”.
So, what is in the best interests of the child? Read on, and I will tell you…
Section 60CC of the Family Law Act 1975 is the section that tells us what a Court must consider when making a decision that will be in a child’s best interests.
In determining what is in the child’s best interests, the Court looks at “primary considerations” and “additional considerations”.
It is important for parents to understand that both the primary and the additional considerations focus entirely on the children and their rights.
When looking at putting forward a proposal about care arrangements for children – it is best to read through these considerations first.
There are two primary considerations the Court must consider in order to determine what care arrangements will be in the best interests of the Children.
The primary considerations are:
In relation to these primary considerations, the Court says it must give greater weight to the second aspect - the need to protect children from physical or psychological harm, and from being subjected to or exposed to abuse, neglect, or family violence. This will be given greater weight than the benefit of the child having a meaningful relationship with both parents.
Aside from the two Primary Considerations, the Court must consider the following list of matters. Some of these may be applicable and some may not be.
It is always a good idea to obtain advice from an experienced family lawyer when making a proposal or a decision about a parenting agreement or consent orders.
We always recommend consulting with an experienced family lawyer to discuss your situation and obtain advice about what the Court might consider to be in your child/ren’s best interest.
Everyone’s situation is unique.
O’SheaDyer Solicitors Townsville have experienced family lawyers who practice exclusively in Family Law.
We offer first appointments for family law enquiries for a low fixed fee of $220. You have an hour appointment with an experienced family lawyer where you obtain customised advice about your situation. You will also receive a 15 minute follow-up call from the lawyer a week later.
Please call us to make an appointment. 47 725 155.