The idea of fighting for custody of your children is not a comfortable thought.
Unfortunately, when divorce is on the horizon it is something that all parents have to think about.
As a father, it is common in these difficult times to ask, “What are my child custody rights and how much do they differ from the mother’s?”
Unless it has happened to someone you know, your knowledge of this will likely be vague or non-existent.
This is why it is important to hire high quality lawyers like Family Lawyers Sydney to help you achieve the best and fairest outcome.
In this article, we will highlight some key points about child custody rights for fathers.
The Family Law Act 1975
The Family Law Act 1975 states that a “child has a right to be known and cared for by both parents” without prioritizing the rights of either father or mother.
Unless there are allegations of domestic abuse, the court holds the view that in the best interests of the child,
both parents should spend as much practical and reasonable time as possible with the child.
Therefore, a father, unless under particular circumstances, has the fundamental right and responsibility to care for their child in some way.
At Family Lawyers Sydney, we will bring you the best outcome for outcome for child and yourself as a father.
The Family Law Reform Act 1995
There is a common misconception that in regard to the custody of their children, the father by nature of gender will usually receive ‘the short end of the stick’, so to speak.
The Family Law Act was reformed in 1995, where it states that there is no innate distinction between the rights of mother and father.
The court is chiefly governed by the child’s rights and best interests.
With this prioritized, the court simply makes a decision on which parent is most fit to provide these rights and interests.
Even when both parents are proven to be able to adequately care for their child,a court may decide that it is not in the best interests of the child to have equal share of time.
In this case, a court may decide to allocate time – as much as reasonably possible whilst aligning with the best interests of the child – to the non-resident parent.
Joint custody will inevitably bring emotional strain to a child, so it is common for a parent to receive less time with their child than the other.
Some key factors a court will consider
As we’ve stated before, a father does not have more or less rights as a parent in regard to child custody.
It all comes down to the rights and best interests of the child.
With this in mind, there are some key factors that a court will consider, regardless of a parent’s gender:
- The ability to provide financial and emotional support to the child
- A history of (or allegations of) abuse
- The parent’s behaviour to both the other parent and the child
- A child’s wishes to live with a parent
- The ability to put aside an adequate amount and spend meaningful time with their child
- A parent’s readiness to provide accommodation to their child