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Can I get full custody of my child?

A question that many parents ask themselves is, “can I get full custody of my child?”  This can be a very complex matter and the appropriate advice in relation to the law is to seek legal advice from a experienced family lawyer.  We here at MCG Legal can provide you with that advice.

The word “custody” is also not used in the Family Law Act or throughout resolving a family law process involving children.  Parents have parental responsibility for their child, and this is the term it is referred to throughout the Family Law Act.

Who has parental responsibility? Can I get sole parental responsibility?

Parental responsibility is the right to make important decisions about your child’s welfare such as their religion, where they shall live, where they shall go to school, what doctor they see and how much time they spend with you both.  The children have a right to have a meaningful relationship with both of their parents unless they are at risk of physical or psychological harm.  The child’s or children’s protection is paramount.

parenting responsibility and child custody
Parenting Responsibility

Parental responsibility is given to both parents.  It is what is known as a deemed provision in that being a parent you have parental responsibility.  In some instances, parental responsibility can be taken away from a parent and sole parental responsibility given to the other parent around the decision making process for the child or children.  Some examples of this are an absent parent or when communication is so poor, the parents simply cannot communicate or make a decision, then sole parental responsibility may be given to the other parent.  Domestic violence is also another example of when a sole parental responsibility order may be made.

Having sole parental responsibility will not prevent the other parent spending time with the child or children unless they are at risk. You can talk to Gold Coast Family Lawyer at MCG Legal to discuss about your parental responsibility.

How do we determine how much time the child/children should spend with each parent?

According to Family Lawyer at MCG Legal there are a number of matters that need to be considered in determining what time a child/children should spend with each of their parents.  The Act and the Court will consider whether the child/children are suffering physically or psychological harm at the hand of either parent.  They will also consider whether there are issues of domestic violence between the parents and the issue of parental responsibility.  If neither of those apply, the Court must first turn its mind to shared parenting. 

There are numerous factors that need to be considered for a shared parenting rescheme to work between parents.  A shared parenting rescheme must be both reasonably practical and in the best interest of the child or children.  Factors such as employment, distance between the parties home, the age of the children, their heath needs and their schooling, and many other important factors must be considered in the context of coming to a decision about what time will be spent with each parent.

What if a shared parenting responsibility rescheme cannot work?

If a shared parenting rescheme is not reasonably practical or for some reason is not in a child’s or children’s best interest, then the Act and the Court will look to whether or not “significant and substantial time” is reasonably practical and in the child’s or children’s best interests.  Significant and substantial time usually involved the child or children spending time with a parent every second weekend, some mid week time and half school holidays and time on special occasions.  Again, all of the factors mentioned above must be considered and decisions made that are in the best interest of the child or children. 

What if shared parenting responsibility and significant and substantial time will not work?

If shared parenting responsibility and significant and substantial will not work and by way of example, it does not often working with fly-in/fly-out workers, then the Act and the Court would find a way to ensure that the child or children are spending time with both parents.  The Family Law Act very clearly states that the children are entitled to a meaningful relationship with both of their parents.  The Act and the Court understand that sometimes circumstances get in the way of shared parenting and significant and substantial time and the Court will find a way and a time that the children can spend time.  In the case of a ‘fly-in/fly-out’ worker, time is spent around the roster that they have, whether it be month on/month off, fortnight on/fortnight off. 

Resolving parenting matters can be very complex. Appropriate advice in relation to the law and your circumstances should be sought from a family lawyer.  MCG Legal have family lawyers that can assist you through parenting responsibility process.

Conclusion

If you have any questions about parenting responsibility, full custody of child or shared parenting responsibility or your circumstances around parenting matters, please contact MCG Legal on (07) 5591 2222.

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Based on 100 reviews
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