Children need Both Parents on Separation

A reason you may considering taking your former partner through the Family Law Courts is because of your children. At LGM Family Law, our Child Custody Lawyer’s often recognise the importance of both parents in the child or children’s lives, irrespective of the tension or hostility between them. In this post, we will briefly answer why children need both parents during separation.

Children needing both parents during and after separation is premised at the heart of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (FLA). This provides law which relates to Parenting and Child custody. The rule of thumb is that, if a parent does not pose any risk to the children, then the other parent is not justified in withholding children or stopping them from spending time with them.

A concern for the Family Law Courts is deciding what Parenting Orders to make following separation. The Family Law Courts will likely disfavour a parent who withholds their child from seeing the other parent with the absence of risk. However, if there is risk to the children’s welfare, then withholding them from seeing the other parent may be justified.

In the absence of risk, it is important that children have both their parents during separation. While there may be animosity between you and your former partner, you should consider your child and how the Family Law Courts may treat your conduct.

My Former Partner is Withholding Our Children

If you are in a situation where you are unable to see or obtain access to your children, you should contact LGM Family Law. Our team practices exclusively in family law and has extensive experience in assisting people unable to access their children. If you would like advice regarding this particular issue, email us or call our office on (07) 3506 3651.

The ‘Best Interests’ of the Children

The paramount consideration for the family court when considering whether to make a particular parenting order is what is in the best interests of children. See section 60CA FLA.

Section 60CC(1) of the FLA provides that when determining what is in the child’s best interests, the court must consider certain primary considerations.

One of those primary considerations is the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both of the child’s parents.  Generally then, the best interests of a child will involve the child spending time with both parents, including time during the week, time on weekends and time on special days such as birthdays and over the Christmas period.

Considerations 

Of course, if a party suffers an addiction to drugs or alcohol or certain mental health conditions, then a child may well be at risk in the care of that party. The FLA recognises that, whilst children need both parents,  there can be circumstances where the child’s best interests may lie in there only being restricted time with a particular party. For example, supervised time with that party or in some cases, no time at all, whilst the condition suffered by the party continues.

The FLA provides further that another of the primary considerations for the family court when considering what parenting orders to make is the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.

The family court is required to giver greater weight to that primary consideration when considering what orders are to be made.

If the child is not at risk in the care of a parent, then following separation, the other parent should encourage the children to spend time with that parent and facilitate that time happening.  No matter a parent’s feeling towards the other, children need to be free to bond with both parents and to enjoy their time with each parent without being burdened by the negative opinion of a parent which the other parent may hold.

It can be difficult following separation for a party who feels aggrieved by the conduct of the other party towards them to recognise that children need both parents and to present a positive view of that other party to the children. However, children surely need to feel positive about each of their parents and will thank you as they grow older for having given them that freedom.

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer

Contact LGM Family Law for initial complimentary advice over the phone. Our family lawyers practise exclusively in family law and have the experience to assist you where your former partner may be refusing to recognise that your children need both parents or to assist you to resolve any other of your child custody or parenting issues.