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When you and your partner separate, reaching an agreement as to parenting arrangements can be very difficult, to say the least. Care arrangements for your child should follow the considerations that a court would have when determining a disputed parenting matter.

When a court is asked to determine a parenting application, it will take into account the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration.

But how does the court determine what is in the best interest of my child?

The best interests of a child is determined by the court focusing on two primary considerations, together with a number of other additional considerations. The primary considerations are:

  1. The benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both of their parents; and
  2. The need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm. This includes where a child may be subjected to or exposed to, abuse, neglect, or family violence.

Some of the additional considerations a court will look at include the wishes of the child (subject to and weighed against their age and maturity) as well as the nature of the relationship of the child with each of their parents, grandparents, and other important relatives. The court will also consider the ability of each parent to provide for the needs of the child and to promote and encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ to a parenting dispute, and each family and child will have their own unique circumstances. It is for this reason that it is important that you seek legal advice to assist you in navigating the complexities of your own situation.

The process will generally start with Mediation, and only if your matter is not capable of resolution through Mediation, would you then consider applying to the court for parenting orders.

Our family lawyers can provide you with expert legal advice to best assist you moving forward. Our caring lawyers deliver trusted, honest advice that will place you in a position where you can feel confident making informed decisions about your family. Give us a call today to discuss your parenting matter.