Want custody of your child?

Before taking this step, you should first consider what it is that you are after.

Do you want the legal power to make important decisions for your child?

If so, you will be seeking “parental responsibility”.

Being granted parental responsibility for a child will give you the power and authority to make decisions in relation to the child, such as what School the child will go to, the religion that will be practiced, medical decisions or where the child will live.

Parental responsibility is presumed to reside with both parents, unless you can provide the Court with a serious reason as to why this should not occur (e.g. the other parent has abused the child or has been involved in domestic violence). Should parental responsibility be shared, both parents will need to consult with each other regarding the important decisions.

Do you want to spend more time with your child?

This is a separate consideration for the Court to who has parental responsibility. In making a decision, the Court will consider what is in the child’s “best interests” and what arrangement is “reasonably practicable” for the child.

To determine what parenting arrangement is “reasonably practicable” for a child the court must have regard to:

What is in the child’s best interests?

The Family Law Act sets out the mechanism at arriving at what is in the child’s best interests.

The objects of the Act are to ensure that the best interests of children are met by:

The principles underlying these objects are that (except when it is or would be contrary to a child’s best interests):

It is against the backdrop of the above objects and considerations that the Court’s takes into account a number of other “considerations” in working out what is in a child’s best interests. These considerations are broken down into “primary considerations” and “additional consideration”.

The “primary considerations” are as follows:

The “additional considerations” are as follows:

It is only after the Court has taken into account all of the above, that it will make a decision as to:

Feel free to give us a call to discuss your circumstances or any queries that you may have.