Child Custody in Australia: Essential Things to Know

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Child affected with his parents divorceSeparation or divorce is not an easy affair, especially if there are kids involved. According to the Family Law Act, parents may exercise parental responsibility either jointly or independently, regardless of the status of their relationship. There’s likewise the presumption that a child’s best interest is for both parents to share equal responsibility, with both parties ideally involved in decision-making regarding the child’s welfare.

Basic Child Custody Issues

Plenty of issues could arise from a separation or divorce, with the most common ones being:

  • The amount of time each parent spends with the child;
  • Where the child will live;
  • The amount of time allotted to each parent on important holidays like birthdays, Christmas, and school breaks among others;
  • Where the child will go to school; and
  • The child’s health care, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities among many others.

Behavioural Check-up

The court also has to decide on parenting orders that would be in the child’s best interests. According to one of the top family lawyers in Townsville, the court would take into account the following considerations when making a decision:

  • The relationship between each parent and the child;
  • The child’s preferences, considering that he or she is old or mature enough to speak up;
  • The parents’ willingness to encourage and help foster a relationship between the other parent and the child;
  • Each party’s emotional, mental, and physical capacity to provide for the needs of the child; and
  • The impact of the changes on the circumstances of the child.

Regardless of the reasons behind a child custody case, the law would always seek to uphold the child’s best interests. Child custody issues could be complex, even for parents who have amiable relationships. Bearing this in mind, consult with an experienced family lawyer to determine the best course of action should a dispute surface.