Many Factors Considered when Deciding Family Law Parenting Orders


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Determinations under Family Law Parenting Orders place the welfare of the child as the paramount consideration of the Court, and decisions made under these provisions are taken carefully. The legislation looks at a range of factors, including the safety of the child, their right to have meaningful relationships with both parents and extended family, and to know their culture.

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Many Factors Considered when Deciding Family Law Parenting Orders

  1. 1. Many Factors Considered when Deciding Family Law Parenting OrdersFamily Law Parenting Orders is not something that is undertaken lightly by the courts, and theyare the subject of a rigorous process to ensure that the welfare of the child is paramount in anydecisions made by the Family Law Court. It is well known and understood that when parentsseparate or divorce, there are a lot of extraneous issues that drive the emotions and behaviours ofeveryone involved. It is the intent of the legislation and the desire of the Court that, whilekeeping this knowledge in mind, the child is the centre of any orders made, since it is the childwho, in these situations, is powerless.As any family law Sydney expert can attest, especially in the initial period after the separation,logic and reason are often not the behaviours exhibited by the parents when they first seek legaladvice. Emotions run high with fear, anxiety and blame the most commonly seen, and whichhopefully, with time and healing, most couples are able to overcome to some degree, especiallywhere the welfare of their children are concerned.In cases where Family Law Parenting Orders are necessary, there are fundamental principlesagainst which the Court determines the best interests of the child. Among these are actionsensuring the child has the involvement of both parents in their lives while keeping themprotected from physical or psychological harm due to neglect or family violence. Further, theright of the child to know and be cared for by both parents, regardless of whether they aremarried, separated, or have never lived together is considered.The importance of the role of grandparents and the extended family have been recognised in theFamily Law Act and is one of the fundamental principles considered in making determinations.In the past, sadly, children and grandparents formed strong bonds, only to lose touchpermanently in the aftermath of a separation or divorce. Also recognised is the right of the childto enjoy their culture including spending time with others who share that culture such asextended family.On 1 July 2006 the Family Law Act was amended to provide the presumption of equal sharedparental responsibility, and many Family Law Parenting Orders are sought on this basis.However the Act also sets out factors to help the Court make these determinations. The Courtconsiders the child’s views on equal time with both its parents, the practical difficulty andexpense of dividing the child’s time this way, the likely effect of this arrangement on the childand a number of other important factors. Parents who need representation should consult withFamily Lawyers Sydney for experienced comment and help.Family Law Parenting Orders are always difficult, but with the child’s best interests at theforefront, the adults who care for them the most must come to some arrangement that will benefitthe child. This is one of those times when maturity is needed, and sadly, it is often when it ismost lacking.