Long term decisions for children and family law

Making long term decisions for children as well as decisions about the day today care for children is what is referred to in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) as “parental responsibility”. There is a presumption under section 61DA(1) of the FLA that both parents have shared parental responsibility for children.

However, an order may be made by the family courts in appropriate cases that that presumption does not apply. If this happens, then the responsibility for long term decisions for children will lie with the parent (or other person) as the Court orders.

The presumption may be rebutted and will not apply where there are reasonable grounds to believe that a parent has engaged in family violence or by evidence that satisfies the Court that it would not be in the best interest of children for parents to have equal shared parental responsibility or equal right to make long terms decisions for children .

If you would like some practical legal advice and the options available to you, contact our experienced Brisbane child custody lawyers or our North Brisbane child custody lawyers. We can assist you in all areas of family law, including regards how the law approaches long term decisions for children in separated families, parenting arrangements and family law property settlement. We will advise you regards likely outcomes for your particular circumstances. This will allow you to make an informed decision and to retain control over how your family law issue is resolved. You are also welcome to read on for further information right now………

In Worth & Worth and Anor (8 March 2019) which was on appeal before the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia, the Full Court confirmed the decision of the trial judge that the presumption did not apply as a result of the finding of family violence in that case. However, the Full Court said that even if the presumption applied(ie., even if the FLA allowed on the facts that both parents had equal responsibility for long term decisions for children), it was still rebutted because the parents could not communicate with each other and were not able to agree on long term decisions for children. It was therefore not in the children’s best interests that there be equal shared parental responsibility.

For further information about parental responsibility and how the law approaches how long term decisions for children be made in separated families, see our other blog in this area:

Contact our child custody lawyers Brisbane or child custody lawyers Brisbane Northside for advice concerning whether the law would regard that only you or your partner have the right to make long term decisions for children you or regards any area of family law.  We prioritise assisting our clients to reach agreement with their former partner, whether concerning parenting arrangements for their children or family law property settlement. If however court action becomes necessary, we are experienced to represent you at Court.

The information set out in this blog is not a substitute for legal advice. We recommend that you obtain advice tailored to your particular circumstances from our Brisbane child custody lawyers or our child custody lawyers Brisbane Northside.