When it comes to ‘father’s rights’ in parenting matters, it’s vital to remember that under the Family Law Act 1975, there are no men’s rights vs. women’s rights. In fact, the child’s rights are the only ones that the Court is legally required to consider.
A child has a right to be cared for by both parents, according to the Family Law Act. This means that the Court is more concerned with the child’s need to spend as much time with each parent as is reasonably possible, rather than the parent’s gender.
Given that you’ve arrived at this page, you’ve most likely heard or been told that fathers are only permitted to visit their children every other weekend, or when it comes to parenting matters generally, the courts favor the mother. This was likely the case in the past, but in recent years – and especially with recent Court reforms – it has become usual for the Court to recognize the value of the child or children maintaining a continuous and meaningful relationship with both parents.
So, Does This Mean Fathers Have a Right to Shared Parental Care?
Without taking into account the child’s unique circumstances, there is no definitive answer.
The simple answer is that the law requires the court to assess whether shared care is a reasonable option if there is no risk of harm to the child.
What Does ‘Risk of Harm’ Mean?
Under the Family Law Act, the term “harm” has a broad definition. Physical or sexual harm, drug or alcohol misuse, emotional or psychological harm as a result of exposure to marital violence, abuse, threats, or denigration of a parent or family member are all examples of harm.
The Court must evaluate the suitability of shared care as long as none of these issues exists.
The mother and father are not the only ones who are at risk. When determining whether a child is in danger of harm while in the care of a parent, the gender of the parent is immaterial. If you are concerned about your child’s safety while in the care of the mother, get legal assistance as soon as possible. The longer you leave the child in a situation where they may be at risk of harm.
Before we go any further, it’s crucial to realize that the Court is only required to examine shared care; it’s not required to make an order.
So, why do you require the services of a law firm that specializes in family law for fathers? You don’t, at least not in theory. Engaging a family law practice like Mediations Australia, which has considerable experience representing fathers and male clients in family law cases, guarantees that you are represented by lawyers who have the necessary expertise and understanding to best assist you with your family law matter.
The following are some of the most prevalent worries that fathers have regarding the family court system.
Need some information that relates to your circumstance?
Is it possible for my ex to prevent my children from spending time with me?
The most difficult element of any breakup is deciding how you and your ex will parent your children.
It will be the best outcome for you and your children if you and your ex-partner can reach an agreement without going to court. A protracted court battle over parental issues can be costly, time-consuming, and emotionally demanding, with no guarantee of a favorable outcome. That’s why at Mediations Australia, We’re early-resolution focused.
We’ll offer you support and advice to help you negotiate with your ex-partner to reach an agreement that benefits everyone, including your children.
If you and your ex-partner can’t come to an agreement, we’ll have to go to court. They’ll have a look at:
- Until now, who has been the primary caregiver?
- Relationships between your child and you, his or her family, and friends
- The relationship between the child and their school, home, and community
- Any proof of allegations of domestic violence (against you, your ex, or any new partners who are on the scene).
When determining how much time the child should spend with each parent, the Court will prioritize the child’s best interests. Unless one parent offers a risk of harm to the child, it is usually in the child’s best interest to spend time with both parents.
It will benefit your parenting situation if you avoid conflict with your ex. It is not always simple, however. That’s why we’re here to walk you through it and communicate with your ex-partner on your behalf.
If you are unable to reach an agreement, we will assist you in laying the groundwork necessary to present your best case in court.
What can Parenting Orders be used for?
The quality of your Parenting Orders can make the difference between a happy co-parenting relationship and continuing strife with your ex.
We’ll assist you in reaching an agreement and drafting Parenting Orders that address essential issues such as:
- Who will be able to make long-term decisions for the child, such as medical care, relocation, and education?
- Where do you take your kids to school (and who pays if it’s a private school)?
- How much time should the kids spend with each parent during the school holidays?
- When the kids are with your ex, can they call or text you?
What if my ex-partner wants to take the kids and leave?
Relocation occurs when a primary caregiver wants to relocate with their children.
You are not obligated to consent to the change. If you refuse to consent, your ex may seek a court order, but this is a difficult application to make. The court understands the importance of both parents participating actively in their children’s upbringing, therefore they will not simply ‘rubber stamp’ a decision.
They’ll have a look at:
- How much time do the children currently spend with each of their parents?
- How far your ex wants to relocate;
- Your children’s and other family members’ relationships;
- Whether the move will provide the children with greater chances and opportunities;
If your ex is considering relocating and you don’t want her to take the children with her, please contact us as soon as possible.
We’ll assist you in effectively responding to any application for relocation.
If there’s a chance your ex will move the kids to another country, you’ll need to act quickly. We can assist you in placing your children on the Airport Watch List and alerting authorities. You may require a recovery order if your children are taken abroad without your permission.
How much will I have to Pay for Child Support?
On an informal basis, you and your ex-partner might agree on a child support sum. If you don’t want your child support to be handled by Child Services Australia, you can enter into your own agreement with your ex.
Child support payments are calculated using a predetermined method that considers your income, the percentage of time spent with each parent, and the number of children you have.
Contact us for information on how much you’re likely to pay and what to do if you can’t afford it. We can assist you in reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.
Support for children and parental arrangements are two separate concerns. The other parent cannot deny access to the children if the parent who pays child support fails to do so.
Because you haven’t been able to see your children, you can’t stop paying child support. If their mother refuses access, continue to pay child support and contact one of our family lawyers at Mediations Australia.
Involved in a Parenting Dispute?
So, What does all of this mean?
It’s important to remember that the Court’s decisions are made with the best interests of the child in mind, ensuring that their physical, psychological, and emotional requirements are satisfied. This will continue to be the case.
It is critical that the child spend as much time with both parents as is reasonable, with the caveat that if shared custody is not possible, the child must spend considerable and substantial time with the other parent.
The Court may decide that the period be increased as the kid grows older, depending on the impact on the child or children. That is, gradually increasing the amount of time the child spends with the other parent until the youngster has an equal care arrangement or close to it. According to social research and expert opinion, children of schooling age are more likely to cope, if not thrive, in an equitable care situation.
Regardless of where you are as a father in the family law journey, we can assist you in a wide range of family law matters. Talk to one of our family lawyers or mediators today who can assist you in Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and all other locations in Australia.