Understanding the child custody rights for your children during a divorce is important in gaining a fair outcome once it has been finalized.
Prior to any formal agreement, it is wise to talk to a family law firm in order to gain advice.
Prior to a divorce and child custody settlement, there is a range of regulations that govern the custody of children between both parents. Family law solicitors Sydney will be able to help in this area but it is always wise to know the legislation prior to contacting a family law firm so that you give yourself the best chance of a fair custody agreement.
Family Law Act 1975
The Family Law Act saw a significant change in 1975 under Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in which no-fault divorce was introduced. This means that, in Australia, the dissolution of a marriage does not require wrongdoing from either party but simply evidence of a 12-month separation.
Over time there have been numerous changes to the legislation, specifically around the children. This includes; a greater search of information surrounding domestic violence and child abuse or neglect, the presumption that both parents have equal responsibility for their children but not necessarily equal time and for parents to remain meaningfully involved in a child’s life following separation.
Family law solicitors Sydney will be able to aid in these areas of legislation throughout the separation and divorce period.
Child custody prior to divorce and custody settlement
In the time prior to an official divorce and subsequent child custody agreement, it is expected that both parents remain involved in the care of the child or children. There are two elements to custody being where the child lives and the making of key decisions surrounding the child such as their health and education. A family law firm will aid in sorting this out prior to a custody agreement.
However, before reaching out to a family law firm it is wise to know your expectations as a separating parent.
- Both parents are responsible for the care of the child or children, including financial care.
- Despite responsibility being an equal share in most cases, there is no guarantee of an equal share in time spent with the children.
- In instances of un-equal share, it must be for a legitimate reason such as domestic violence, child abuse or a failure to fulfil responsibilities.
- The custody of the child will be determined based on the child’s or children’s best interests.
This means that prior to a custody agreement it is wise to share the responsibilities with your partner to ensure that you get the best outcome when it goes to court. Having a family law firm representing you will aid in this cause also.
Court settlement of child custody
When it comes to going to court you will want to have contacted a family law firm to represent you so that all of the facts can be laid out ensuring that the right outcome is achieved. The family law firm will collect the relevant information and ensure that if there are any concerns with the relationship of the other partner with the children or you, then the court will be able to see this. As mentioned above, the court will determine the custody agreement based on the child’s best interests.