Australia’s Family Law Act of 1975 ensures the rights of a child or children and the mothers’ and fathers’ responsibilities towards their children. It is clear under this law that both parents are responsible for taking care of their children and ensuring their welfare until the children reach the age of 18. The law also makes sure that the mother and the father have joint responsibility in taking care of their children, whether they are together or not. In short, the Family Law Act of 1975 tells all parents, whether separated or not, to love their children unconditionally.
The Family Law Act of 1975 also paved the way for the establishment of the Family Court of Australia, promoting the application of a uniform code when addressing family matters like divorce, family violence, dispute resolution, and more.
Children and Separation
When mommy and daddy finally decide to call things off, the child or children are most likely the ones burdened with various negative emotions. Nevertheless, the separation between the husband and the wife does not clear them of their responsibilities towards their sons and daughters.
In the face of separation, the parents must come up with an agreement that solely focuses on the child’s welfare. It is not right for one parent to make his or her children choose who they prefer or love more. In addition, separated parents should keep their children out of their arguments, as it may have a negative impact on the children psychologically, physically, and emotionally.
Australia’s Family Law does not limit the responsibilities of separated parents to financial support and caring. The law dictates responsibilities that go deeper than that, such as assuring the kids that the parents will always be there for them.
The family law system in Australia applies even in cases of broken families, as it reminds everyone that parental love towards children is unending.
These are the arrangements set by the separated husband and wife, which is overseen by the court. Australian courts are tasked with handing down parenting orders, which indicate that the mother and father must always follow the set of instructions and restrictions ordered by the court.
Failure to comply with the parenting order may result in one party filing an application to the court, alleging that the other party is breaching or contravening the order. Other than a Contravention Application, the party involved may resort to a dispute resolution to resolve things out. This is vital because not all breaches are intentional.
There is also an application to alter an existing order, but both the mother and the father need to meet halfway or else this agreement will not work.
For this reason, it is essential for both parties to always abide by the provisions of the order to fulfill their responsibilities toward their child.
Independent Children’s Lawyers (ICL)
The Australian family law system’s main priority is the welfare of the children and that is why Independent Children’s Lawyers exist. These group of lawyers represent a child or children who face welfare issues involving their parents.
When separated parents are in the midst of establishing an arrangement for the child’s welfare, an ICL is tasked to monitor. The ICL represents the child and their views, but he or she can also present his or her own, depending on what is for the child’s best interest.
ICL will also step up when the child or children are facing abuse, family violence, parenting neglect, complex issues, and even when a parent or parents have mental health issues. ICL acts as an honest broker between the parents and the child; they facilitate negotiations when such are appropriate. They also facilitate the child’s participation in proceedings in a way that reflects the nature of the case and the child’s maturity and age. As well, they facilitate the gathering of the necessary evidence, which will be presented in court.
Relocation is another important matter when it comes to parenting. When either the mother or the father moves to another city or country, it is important for them to first check with the other party for the green light. This is not mainly about asking your ex-wife or ex-husband for permission to relocate. However, Australia’s family law requires parents who plan to relocate to notify the other party about their plans, especially if both parents are actively involved in supporting and caring for the child.
Some couples can resolve this issue by talking about it and arriving at an agreement. Others, on the other hand, take it to court, which decides on whether to grant permission for the move. The court will still prioritise what is best for the child. This indicates that even if one party does not want the other party and their child to relocate, that court may still give the green light if the relocation plan is best for the child.
The family law that tackles parenting and its essence in all Australian families is truly broad. With the many single-parent families and high divorce rates in the country, it is quite assuring that the government takes great measures to ensure that the children come first and that their and the parents’ rights are always protected. Even though the marriage is not perfect, the law ensures that children always feel loved and cared for.
Every Australian parent must be aware of what the law entails when it comes to their responsibilities as parents and what happens to children in the event that they separate or divorce. If you are in the middle of these family legal cases and you need help with parenting matters, family law or child issues, please contact our team today to discuss your options.