Getting Full Child Custody


If you’re undergoing separation or divorce, and have children resulting from the relationship, you may be exploring possible options and arrangements. While changes to the Australian family law have done away with the terms “child custody,” “sole custody,” and “joint custody,” it’s important to know that the concept of arrangements remains to be centred around the child: who they live with, spend time with, who becomes the primary carer and has the parental responsibility.

Is it hard to get full custody?

In general, The Family Law Act 1975 prioritises the best interests of the child. The assumption is that it is in the child’s best interest to have both parents assume equal parental responsibility. This does not mean that there needs to be equal time spent caring for the child, but rather, that both parents are involved in making major decisions that will affect the child. This can be about education, culture, religious affiliation, medical issues, and where the child will live full-time.

Can a father take a child away from the mother?

As stated above, equal parental responsibility is usually what is prioritised, unless there is a risk to the children if this is the arrangement decided upon. Reasons that there may be perceived risk and alternative arrangements will be pursued is if there is a history of abuse or financial hardship, which will prevent a healthy environment for the development of the child. A father cannot take a child away from the mother, and vice versa, unless there is a court decision that legally allows this arrangement. The courts assign sole parental responsibility once it is determined that the child’s best interest is to live with a sole parent who will then make the major decisions for the child’s welfare until they turn 18.

When can you file for full custody?

You must first make a genuine effort to settle the matter by family dispute resolution, and have evidence of this before applying for a parental order with family lawyers Perth, which is a set of orders made by the court pertaining to parenting arrangements. This can be done based on an agreement between the parties affected, or after a court hearing or trial. After the parenting order has been made, each party affected is legally bound to follow it.

How can I get full custody of my child without going to court?

If you are able to resolve the arrangement by using dispute resolution services, it is best to formalise the agreement to ensure that it is legally binding. In order to do this, you need to apply to the Family Court of Australia for a consent order, which deals with, but is not limited to: who the child will live with, how much time the child will spend with each party, and other affected people, such as guardians or grandparents, how the child will communicate with the parent they do not live with, and other aspects of care that pertain to the child.