Family Law and Lawyers

Family Laws in NSW


  • Introduction
  • Parental responsibility
  • Parenting time
  • Best Interest of Child
  • Family Dispute Resolution
  • Support for children after separation
  • Financial responsibility for children
  • Child’s Wellbeing
  • What is a Family Court Order?
  • Consequences of Breaching Family Court Order
  • Conclusion



Children in Australia have the right to a meaningful relationship with both of their parents, as well as to be fully secure. A court is required to place greater emphasis on the need to defend children from maltreatment. In Australia, family law is enforced by the Family Law Act 1975, which works in tandem with the Family Court Act 1975. The Family Court of Australia, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, or the Family Court of Western Australia hears Family Court proceedings.


Parental responsibility:

Parental responsibility encompasses all of a parent’s duties, authority, obligations, and authority over their children. Whether married, in a committed relationship, never in a relationship, or otherwise, each parent has parental responsibility for the child. This implies that both parents can decide on the child independently. When parents of a child under the age of 18 divorce, they both retain parental responsibility for the child. If the parents want to make a legal obligation to fulfill major long-term decisions about their child’s wellbeing and upbringing together, they should make or request a court order for Equal Shared Parental Responsibility. ‘Major long-term issues’ include choices about a child’s school, major health decisions, and religious observance. Equal parental responsibility does not imply equal time. A court may decide that removing parental responsibility from one or both parents is in the child’s best interest. A court may also decide to appoint a legal guardian to assume responsibility for a child.


Parenting time:

There are no strict guidelines for deciding which parent a child will live with or spend quality time with after their parent’s divorce. Making ‘custody’ or ‘contact’ agreements used to be referred to as this. In Australian family law, these terms are no longer used. There is no law requiring children to spend the same or “50:50” time with both parents. In most cases, both parents should discuss their child’s specific needs and come to their own consensus about where a child will live and how they should spend time with their parents.

Best Interest of Child:

What counts most when making important decisions by the courts about children is that they make sure: what is in best interest of the children with the right to a meaningful and healthy relationship with both patents. After joint discussions, the majority of separated or divorced parents effectively agree on their arrangements for the care of their children. If parents cannot concur on child custody issues after their divorce, specialist family mediation services can assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable judgment or compromise. If the guardians remain unable to reach an agreement, a judge in a family law court will make a decision. In accordance with the Family Law Act, the judge’s decision will be based on the child’s finest interests.

Family Dispute Resolution:

According to the Family Law Act of 1975- external site, separating families who have a dispute over children must make a sincere effort to resolve it through family dispute resolution. The Act also requires them to participate in family dispute resolution before going to court, unless one of the exceptions applies, such as domestic violence, child abuse, or the need for immediate action.

Family Dispute Resolution

Support for children after separation:

Throughout Australia, community-based organizations provide Supporting Children after Separation Program (SCaSP) services. SCaSP services help children from separating families confront problems that arise as a result of their parents’ failed relationship and partake in decisions that affect them.

Financial responsibility for children:

Regardless of who the child lives with, both parents have a financial obligation to provide for the child after separation. Parents can handle this privately or apply for a child support assessment. The child support program is administered by the Department of Human Services, which assists parents in providing their children with financial assistance.


Child’s Wellbeing:

When their parents are divorced, it can be difficult for their children. It is critical that you concentrate on what is ideal for your children now and in the future. Don’t critique the other parent of your children or put pressure on them to make decisions regarding their own care. Children adore their parents, and putting them in a situation where they feel forced to choose between them can be detrimental.

What is a Family Court Order?

In general, a court order can include a judicial officer’s decision or judgment. A parenting order and a financial order are two important orders in family law. A parenting order is a series of commands governing a child’s parenting arrangements. It may address who the child will reside with, how much time the kid will spend with each parent, how the parent will interact with the child, and any other element of the child’s care and welfare. A financial order is a collection of instructions concerning the division of assets and decisions concerning spousal or de facto maintenance. It could be about how much money must be paid to someone else by a certain date, and the transferring or selling of property.

Consequences of Breaching Family Court Order:

If the court finds that a person has violated a family court order, that person may face the repercussions highlighted in Section 70NFB of the Family Law Act 1975:

  • A sentence of imprisonment on the person under Section 70NFG
  • A fine of up to 60 penalty units
  • A parenting order that compensates one person for time spent with the child that the other person did not spend with the child
  • An order mandating the person who committed the breach to pay all of other side’s costs.


In a nutshell, the family laws in NSW serve the primary purpose of protecting the rights of the children of divorced parents. The laws make sure that no child is deprived from their basic rights due to the failed relationship of their parents. It protects the children from abuse and makes decisions that are ideal for the present and future of these children.

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