My Legal Blog

Howdy! I'm Dan Smith and I live with my wonderful family in Perth. This is my legal blog which aims to look at every part of the legal system. I should point out that i'm not a lawyer myself. However, my good friend Stan has been representing people in court for many years. I find Stan's work fascinating and I love asking him questions. I have even done a bit of my own research into the legal system. I decided to pull everything together here so I could organise my thoughts while also providing useful info for others. Thanks for checking out my blog!

A Guide On Child Custody In Australia

Law Blog

Child custody is one of the most pertinent issues during divorce. In Australia, the Family Law Act 1975 gives equal parenting responsibility to divorcing couples. As such, parents should collaborate to meet the child's basic needs. Further, they should decide on a suitable way to raise their kids in regard to education, religion and disciplinary measures. Below is a short guide on child custody in Australia. 

Consent Orders

Couples that would want to divorce through an out-of-court process can file consent orders with the family court. Consent orders are a negotiated agreement on how the couple would want to raise their kids. They describe where the kids will live, visitation, child support and relatives who will have access to the kids. Consent orders can be changed to accommodate changing situations. For example, if one party moves out of the country, he or she may want to spend time with the kids during the holidays.

Parental Orders

If you cannot agree on how to raise your kids, you are required to attend a Family Dispute Resolution Conference. At the conference, a meditator will help solve your differences. If the process does not bear any fruit, your lawyer should file for parental orders at the family court. Typically, the judge will evaluate your case and make a ruling based on the child's best interests. Similar to consent orders, parental orders can be changed if both parties agree. 

Sole Custody

Parents can seek sole custody of their children if they have sufficient reason to believe that the other parent poses a threat to their kids, such as in cases where the other parent has a history of physical or sexual abuse. You will need to provide sufficient evidence to prove your case. Police reports, apprehended violence orders, pictures, witness statements and hospital reports can be used as evidence. The court may also need to interview the children.

Sole custody may give a parent exclusive rights to live with the children. However, the other parent may need to pay child support. The court may also allow supervised visitations. In some cases, the sole custody ruling can be reversed if the other parent proves that he or she does not pose a threat to the kids. For example, if the violence was caused by alcoholism, the parent can go to a rehabilitation facility and enrol in anger management classes. 

It is vital to have an experienced and specialised family lawyer. He or she will negotiate the terms of consent orders and advise whether you should consider parenting orders.

To learn more about family law, contact a lawyer.


12 June 2020