Indeed it is the children who have rights in parenting matters, not the parents as most people would expect. A child has the right to be cared for by the child’s parents, and to be protected from harm.
Better outcomes for the long term are often reached by agreement, and processes under the Family Law Act require mediation as a first step in the absence of urgency, violence and some other limited factors.
If agreement cannot be reached, then a court will consider a number of factors, including:
- the benefits to a child in having a meaningful relationship with both of the child’s parents
- protection from family violence
- the relationships of the child with parents, siblings, grandparents and others concerned in the care of the child
- the capacity of the parents to provide care
- the maturity, sex, lifestyle and background of the parents and the children
The court follows a specific pathway to reach decisions in parenting matters and who makes decisions regarding the child. This can often be difficult as it involves a number of attendances at court and also upon experts such as social workers and psychologists to prepare independent material about the children.
Our commitment is to help you through this process and to show you how it works because the more you know about the process and how decisions are made, the easier the process becomes.