Children and family law
A meaningful relationship is one of the children’s rights under Australian family law. It is essential for them to live in harmony with their parents. To protect children from harm, a court must give greater weight to the importance of consideration.
Parenting roles in the Family Law Act 1975 are not predetermined based on gender. Family courts make decisions about children in the best interests of the child.
Parental responsibility & Parenting Arrangements
Parents have certain rights, responsibilities, and powers concerning their children.
It does not matter whether the parents are married, in a de facto relationship, never in a relationship, or otherwise; they each have parental responsibilities for the child. Both parents can make decisions about the child independently.
In this manner, when a child under the age of 18 sees both parents separate, both remain responsible for the child.
Suppose the parents want to create a legal obligation to jointly make significant long-term decisions regarding their child’s welfare and upbringing. In that case, they can request or make an Equal Shared Parental Responsibility order.
Children’s education, health, and religious observance are some examples of ‘major long-term issues. It is not equal time or equal responsibility to share parental responsibilities.
In some situations, a court decided that both parents must relinquish their parental duties for the child’s sake. Possibly a court may assign parental responsibility to a legal guardian.
Spending time with your parents
A child can choose which parent they want to spend time with or live with after their parents separate. Formerly known as making ‘custody’ or ‘contact’ arrangements. Australian family law no longer uses these terms.
The children do not have to spend equal time with each parent. It is essential for both parents to discuss their child’s individual needs and how the child will spend time with them.
Separated families can do various things to ensure that their children have ongoing relationships with both of their parents. Both former partners do not need to go to court if you agree on future arrangements for your children. You can make parenting agreements or obtain “consent orders” based on court-approved parenting orders.
A parental order Handbook explains how to develop and obtain a parenting order.
Legal advice may also be helpful.
Child Support & Children’s best interests
Parents should always consider what would be best for their children when making decisions about them. After discussing care arrangements jointly, most separated or divorced parents reach an agreement on their own.
Family mediation services help both parents come to an agreement on arrangements for their children after separation if they disagree on an agreement on their own.
Judges in family law courts will decide if parents still cannot agree. Based on the Family Law Act, the judge will decide based on the best interests of the child.
Children’s financial responsibilities
The residency of the child does not affect the responsibility of the child. Both parents are responsible for supporting the child after separation financially. Parental decision-making or child support assessments are available for this purpose.
Assisting parents in providing support for their children, the Department of Human Services administers the child support program. The website of the Department of Human Services provides information about the child support program.
The well-being of your child
Separating parents can be difficult for children. It would be best always to consider what is best for your children, right now and in the future.
Don’t criticize the other parent of your children or pressure them to make decisions about their care. When children feel they have to choose between their parents, it can be harmful.
Parenting Agreements: Family Law
Separating parents are now encouraged to cooperatively develop parenting solutions without going to court through changes to the family law system. Families separating can take advantage of Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) as an alternative method to settling disputes and making plans for the future.
If you want to apply to a court for a parenting order, you need a Family Dispute Resolution Certificate. The certificate confirms that a genuine effort was made to resolve the Family Dispute. The Family Dispute Resolution process is not applicable in cases of family violence, child abuse, or issues of extreme urgency.
Family Dispute Resolution: What is it?
When an existing marriage ends or a long-term relationship ends, dispute resolution between parents and their children is known as Family Dispute Resolution (FDR). In order to assist people in developing their own agreements, FDR facilitates conversations regarding sensitive issues. Forming a parenting plan is a critical step in this FDR process.
Practitioners of Family Dispute Resolution (FDRP) assist clients in resolving disagreements and developing mutually satisfactory, workable agreements. By cutting out the need for expensive and stressful court hearings, this process is also helping to keep legal fees to a minimum.
The family Dispute Resolution process
Resolution of Family Disputes involves:
- Finding and resolving issues
- Neither party interrupts the other
- Providing relevant information
- Considering options and ideas
- Trying out potential solutions
- Documenting decisions and agreements.
Family dispute resolution benefits
Family Dispute Resolution provides the following benefits:
- FDR is faster and less costly than court action, saving you both money and time
- Collaboration and communication as a means of improving the parenting relationship
- Facilitating the resolution of future disputes
- The decision-making process remains under the control of the individual, with no imposed decisions
- Unlike court proceedings, there is less stress and trauma
The concept of self-made agreements results in fewer breaches of agreements, leading to more effective conflict resolution and a longer lifespan.
FDRPs help in what ways?
Professional mediators with various backgrounds, including law, psychology, and social work, are family dispute resolution practitioners (FDRPs). Practitioners assist separating parties in making decisions related to their situation based on their skills and knowledge. Families, children, financial issues, or property disputes are the subjects of FDRP training.
In fact, FDRPs are not legal advisors, but rather focus on general principles that are applicable to couples going through a separation. Often, they focus on the child’s best interests when giving advice on children and parenting matters. Their main focus in the future and helping the parties resolve their dispute. It is impartial and fair to both parties. This procedure is confidential within legal limitations.
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