- When it comes to decisions regarding a child, such as their living arrangements, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia will prioritise a child’s best interests over the parent’s preferences.
- Our family lawyers can provide crucial guidance on parenting arrangements, including seeking full or sole custody of your child.
- It is possible to create agreements regarding a child’s living arrangements, time spent with parents and parental responsibility without having to go to Court.
What does full custody mean in Australia?
The term full custody can be interpreted various ways and can often imply that one parent has both sole legal and sole physical custody of a child. This might mean that one parent has complete responsibility for a child, and this could include limited to no involvement rights for the other parent.
As we touched on earlier, full custody is not commonly used in the legal field anymore, and instead more aligns with the concept of sole parental responsibility that we discussed above, combined with live with orders, where the child resides primarily with one parent.
It’s important to note that Australian family law places a strong emphasis on the best interests of the child, and decisions around parental responsibility and living arrangements are made with this as the central consideration.
What Is Equal Shared Parental Responsibility?
Equal shared parental responsibility is the legal presumption in Australia that both parents have equal decision-making authority over their child’s upbringing. This means that the Court begins with the assumption that both parents should share in the responsibility of raising their child, fostering a connection with both parents, provided that it is secure and suitable.
It’s important to note that the term equal shared parental responsibility relates solely to the distribution of parental responsibility for a child, and not necessarily the equal division of time spent with the child.
If one parent seeks sole parental responsibility, they must present persuasive evidence to counter the presumption of shared equal parental responsibility and show that it is not in the child’s best interest to have the other parent make major decisions for them.