The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Courts paramount considerations are the best interests of the child over all other considerations in determining parenting disputes. The Court will also consider whether it is in the child’s best interests to maintain a meaningful relationship with both parents and the safety of the child in that parent’s care.
In taking into account what is in the best interests of the child, the Court will consider a number of factors, including for example, relationship with the children, current employment or any criminal history.
If you and your ex-partner are on amicable terms, it is often preferable to come to an agreed living arrangement regarding the care of your children outside of the court system. One way to do this is through a parenting plan, which is a written agreement developed by both parents through Family Relationship Centres. These plans are not legally enforceable, but the court is bound to consider them when determining a parenting dispute. Alternatively, the parties may enter into Consent Orders which provide for these arrangements. Consent Orders are binding on the Court and should a parent breach these Orders, they may be subject to a contravention application from the other parent.
If you are unable to come to a private agreement, you will need to speak with a lawyer as soon as practicable. Parenting disputes are quite complex and can be drawn out over some time.
Parenting orders can be sought to resolve specific disputes surrounding the child’s circumstances, such as a name change. These orders are sanctioned by the court and they can result in serious ramifications if they are breached. If you suspect that you or your ex-partner have broken the conditions of a parenting order, you need to seek legal advice immediately.
Call Russo Lawyers today on (07) 3238 1888 or 1800 558 533 for more information.