When it comes to separations and divorce where children are involved we understand this is an incredibly important subject. Our family and divorce lawyers get asked many questions when it comes to child custody issues and as such we wanted to provide some information on the question of sole custody.
Under the Family Law Act there is no concept of custody. The Act recognises that a child has both a mother and a father where a child needs to have a meaningful relationship with both parents for its proper development. Upon separation of the parents, it is the needs of the child that is paramount to the court. The Act in recognition of the needs of the child, mandates the court to make its decision how a child will live with one parent and spend time with the other. It is extremely rare to deprive a child from contact with a parent and it would only be in extremely exceptional cases where it can be proved that the child is at risk that this may happen. The Act provides that the court start from a position of equal time for a child to spend time with each parent and then adjust that time with the needs of the child taking into account such matters as the maturity of the child, the need for schooling, housing and personal relationships among other considerations. Under special circumstances one parent may be accorded parental responsibility in certain areas but it is extremely rare for a parent to be denied spending time with their child.
If you require more information on child custody issues or wish to speak with an experienced family / divorce lawyer located in Sydney CBD, call us on +61 (0) 2 8215 1588