Information About Child Custody In NSW

Navigating the complexities of child custody in NSW can feel overwhelming, but understanding the legal processes and rights involved is crucial for everyone involved. Australian family law prioritises the best interests of children, ensuring they maintain meaningful relationships with both parents while also protecting them from harm.

This blog post delves into essential information about child custody in NSW, from types of arrangements to fathers’ rights and tips for obtaining custody.

Key Takeaways

  • Child custody in NSW is determined by what is in the best interests of the child, taking into account factors such as their age, safety concerns and relationships with both parents.
  • There are two types of custody arrangements in NSW – shared parental responsibility where both parents make important decisions jointly and sole parental responsibility where one parent has exclusive decision-making rights.
  • Fathers have equal rights to apply for full custody; however, obtaining it requires strong evidence that it’s in the child’s best interests. Children do not have final say on parenting arrangements until they turn 18 years old, but from age 14, their opinions may be considered by the court.

Understanding Child Custody in NSW

In child custody cases in NSW, the court’s main priority is to put the best interests of the child first and make orders about where they will live and who they will spend time with.

Terminology Used In Child Custody Cases

Navigating the world of child custody in NSW can be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding the various legal terms and jargon used. To start with, it’s important to know that in Australia, we now use the term “parenting orders” instead of “child custody,” which better reflects the focus on shared parental responsibility.

Another key concept is “shared parental responsibility,” which means that both parents have an equal say in making significant decisions for their child’s life such as education or healthcare.

This notion stems from Section 61DA of The Family Law Act; however, this does not always translate into equal living arrangements – something called “equal shared care.” In some cases, one parent may have “sole parental responsibility” if it is deemed as being in the best interests of the child.

It is also common to come across terms like “parenting plan”, which refers to a written agreement between parents outlining future care arrangements for their children after separation or divorce.

Putting A Child’s Best Interests First

In child custody cases in NSW, the primary focus is always on ensuring the child’s best interests are prioritized. This principle guides both parents and courts in making decisions relating to a child’s care, welfare, and development.

For example, suppose one parent has a history of domestic violence or substance abuse that may potentially endanger the child. In that case, the court will stress over protecting the child by limiting that parent’s contact rather than facilitating an equal shared parental responsibility arrangement.

Furthermore, practical aspects such as each parent’s ability to provide for their children – including financial support and emotional stability – also play crucial roles when considering what arrangements would be most beneficial to a child in these situations.

Court’s Power To Make Orders About A Child’s Living Arrangements And Who They Spend Time With

In NSW, the court holds significant authority in determining a child’s living arrangements and the time they spend with each parent.

For example, if parents are unable to reach an agreement through mediation or other dispute resolution methods, the Family or Federal Circuit Court can intervene by issuing parenting orders outlining which parent is granted full custody of children or whether shared parental responsibility applies.

Types of Child Custody Arrangements in NSW

There are two types of child custody in NSW: shared parental responsibility and sole parental responsibility.

Shared Parental Responsibility

Shared parental responsibility is a parenting arrangement in which both parents share all the important decisions related to their child, including education, health care, and other significant issues.

This type of custody doesn’t necessarily mean that children split their time equally between each parent’s home, but it does require both parties to make joint decisions for the child’s best interest.

The courts generally encourage shared parental responsibility as it promotes ongoing involvement of both parents in a child’s life and helps preserve family relationships after separation or divorce.

Sole Parental Responsibility

Sole parental responsibility in NSW means that one parent has the exclusive right to make major decisions for their child without consulting with the other parent. This includes making decisions about the child’s education, health, and religion.

However, this does not mean that the other parent is cut off from their child completely; they still have a legal duty to financially support their child and maintain a relationship with them.

If one parent obtains sole parental responsibility in NSW, it can be challenging for the nonresidential parent to maintain contact with their children as they may feel left out from significant aspects of their lives.

It is crucial that parents focus on putting aside any personal issues and strive towards co-parenting regardless of who holds sole custody.

Parenting Plans As A Written Agreement For Future Care Arrangements

Parenting plans are a written agreement between parents that outlines future care arrangements for their children. It is an informal way to establish parenting arrangements and can be documented in writing, signed by both parents, and witnessed by an independent third party.

Parenting agreements can include details such as where the child will live, who they will spend time with, how decisions about the child’s welfare will be made, and any other matters related to the child’s care and upbringing.

These agreements are often used as evidence when making parenting orders in court or during mediation sessions.

Legal Considerations For Child Custody Arrangements

When it comes to child custody arrangements in NSW, there are several legal considerations that parents need to keep in mind. One of the most important factors is ensuring that any agreements or arrangements made are in the best interests of the child.

This means taking into account their age, needs, and relationship with both parents.

Another legal consideration is ensuring that any agreements or court orders regarding custody and visitation are clear and specific. This can help avoid confusion or disputes down the line and ensure that both parents understand their obligations and responsibilities.

Additionally, it’s crucial for parents to be aware of their rights under Australian family law when it comes to making decisions about their child’s upbringing – this includes understanding what types of parenting orders can be made by a court and how they may impact custody arrangements.

Rights of Fathers in Child Custody in NSW

Fathers have equal consideration in child custody cases in NSW, including the right to apply for full custody.

Equal Consideration For Both Parents

Under Australian family law, there is a strong presumption for both parents to have equal consideration in child custody cases. This means that the Court must consider the best interests of the child and ensure that each parent has an equal opportunity to participate in their upbringing.

It’s important to note, however, that this presumption does not automatically mean that parents will have equal time or shared parental responsibility. The Court may still make orders based on what is best for the child’s welfare and safety.

Applying For Full Custody

Parents who seek full custody of their child must first apply to the court for an order to determine their parental care after separation. Full custody means that one parent has sole responsibility for making decisions about the child’s upbringing and welfare, including where they live, go to school, and receive medical treatment.

It is important to note that obtaining full custody can be challenging as it requires strong evidence of why it would be in the best interests of the child. The Family Law Act 1975 states that equal consideration should be given to both parents when deciding on parenting arrangements.

Therefore, simply disliking or having a conflict with your ex-partner does not qualify as valid reasons for seeking full custody.

Age At Which A Child Can Refuse To See A Parent

Children do not have the final say in parenting arrangements until they turn 18 years old. However, starting from age 14, a child’s opinion may be taken into account by the court when determining what is in their best interests.

It is important to note that this does not mean the child can outright refuse to spend time with one of their parents, but rather, it is one factor to consider amongst many others.

It’s also worth noting that seeking legal advice early on can help navigate any complex issues that arise around parenting arrangements and ensure that everyone involved understands their rights and responsibilities under family law in Australia.

Obtaining Legal Help For Child Custody Cases

If you’re a parent going through a child custody case in NSW, it’s crucial to have the right legal support on your side. Legal aid services are available to parents seeking help with their cases, including fathers.

Family lawyers can offer guidance and support throughout the process, from filing applications with the Family or Federal Circuit Court to drafting parenting plans and agreements.

Factors such as abuse or family violence may result in different custody arrangements, so having a lawyer who understands the nuances of these cases is key.

How to obtain child custody in NSW

To obtain child custody in NSW, parents can file an application with the Family or Federal Circuit Court, explore mediation and dispute resolution options, attend court hearings to present their case and request orders for a parenting plan agreement.

Filing An Application With The Family Or Federal Circuit Court

To file an application with the Family or Federal Circuit Court for child custody in NSW, you need to begin by completing a form from the court’s website. You’ll need to provide information about yourself, the other parent, and your child.

After you’ve completed and lodged your application with the Court, a copy of it will be served on the other parenting party (the respondent). The time it takes between filing and hearing can vary widely depending on how busy the courts are at any given time.

It’s essential to note that applying for parenting orders should only be considered after all sincere efforts to resolve matters have failed. By law, family law litigants must attend mediation through government-funded services unless certain exemptions apply.

Mediation And Other Dispute Resolution Options

Mediation is one of the most common ways to resolve child custody disputes in NSW. This process involves both parents coming together with a neutral third party, such as a mediator, to work through their differences and come up with an agreement that suits everyone.

The purpose of these alternative methods is to avoid having to go to court which can be costly, time-consuming and emotionally draining for all parties involved. It’s important to note that mediation proceedings are confidential and voluntary but should not be mistaken for counselling or therapy sessions.

Court Hearings And Orders

After filing an application with the Family or Federal Circuit Court, court hearings may be required to make a final determination about child custody in NSW. During these court proceedings, evidence will be presented by both parties regarding the best interests of the children involved.

The court will consider factors such as each parent’s ability to provide for and care for their child, relationship history, and any instances of family violence or abuse.

Once all evidence has been heard and considered, the court will make a decision about parenting arrangements that are in the best interest of the children. These orders may include decisions around who a child lives with, how much time they spend with each parent, and other specific details related to day-to-day care.

Drafting Parenting Plans And Agreements

When it comes to child custody in NSW, drafting a parenting plan or agreement is an important step for parents who have separated or divorced. A parenting plan is a written record of agreements made between the parents about how they will care for their child and what arrangements are necessary.

One of the benefits of creating a parenting plan is that it provides clarity for both parents regarding their responsibilities and expectations. Additionally, having a written agreement can make things easier if any disputes arise in the future.

It’s important to note that while informal agreements can be helpful, only court-ordered parenting plans and agreements hold legal weight.

The Importance Of Having A Comprehensive Parenting Agreement

Having a comprehensive parenting agreement is crucial for separating parents in NSW to reach an agreement about the future care of their children. This written document outlines each parent’s rights and responsibilities, including decision-making arrangements, living arrangements, visitation schedules, communication protocols, and child support obligations.

A well-drafted parenting plan can reduce conflicts and misunderstandings between parents while providing stability and consistency for children. By having clear guidelines in place that both parties agree on, it can minimize the likelihood of having to go back to court later down the track if disputes arise.

Example: For instance, if you’re a father who wants shared custody with his ex-partner but unsure where to start or what should be included in the parenting plan? You would need legal advice tailored explicitly to your situation; consult with an experienced child custody lawyer who understands these issues well enough can help guide you through the process efficiently.

Conclusion and additional resources for child custody in NSW

In conclusion, navigating child custody in NSW can be overwhelming and emotionally draining, but understanding the basics of the terminology and legal considerations can make the process a bit easier.

It’s crucial to put your child’s interests first, seek legal assistance if needed, and work towards creating a comprehensive parenting plan that outlines each parent’s responsibilities.

If you need further assistance or advice regarding child custody in NSW, there are various resources available such as accredited family law specialists, community legal centers and online resources on “the Family Law” website by Australian government.


  1. How is child custody determined in NSW?

The family court considers several factors, such as the child’s age and needs, the relationship between each parent and their ability to provide for the child. The court will also take into account any history of family violence or abuse.

  1. What are my options for resolving a child custody dispute?

There are several methods available for resolving a child custody dispute, including mediation, arbitration, or going to court. It’s recommended to seek legal advice before making any decisions about how to proceed.

  1. Can grandparents apply for custody of their grandchildren in NSW?

In certain situations where it is deemed necessary for the wellbeing of the child, grandparents may be allowed to apply for custody rights through the family court system.

  1. What happens if one parent breaches a custody order in NSW?

If one parent breaches a custody order without proper justification or agreement from both parties involved they can face legal consequences which may result in fines or even imprisonment depending upon severity & frequency of violations committed over time this could also impact future rulings made by courts regarding that individual’s parenting capacity so it’s important not risk violating orders just because it might seem easier than adhering requirements set forth under law at all times

Family Lawyers in Parramatta: When Should You Hire a Lawyer?

In 2020, at least 49,510 married couples in Australia separated. An increasing divorce rate has resulted in a high demand for family lawyers.

Family law is complex, and ignoring legal services will make things more challenging. Your chances of winning your case will also be less.

Hiring a family lawyer for your case comes with many benefits. However, you must find an experienced attorney to gain the most benefits.

Keep reading to know when you should hire family lawyers in Parramatta.

When Facing Divorce

Divorce is a frustrating and emotionally draining experience. Handling divorce on your own will also cause you to spend more money in the end.

Note that divorce cases are sensitive. A minor mistake, especially when filling out the paperwork, can hinder you from getting a binding agreement.

The only way to have a smooth divorce process is by hiring a Parramatta family attorney. First, a professional family attorney will offer you expert advice. The lawyer will help you know things that can affect you later after divorce.

Divorces come with negative emotions like anger. As a result, communication becomes a problem among separating couples. A good family lawyer acts as a go-between for divorcing couples.

What you do during divorce can negatively impact your case. A professional Parramatta family lawyer will enlighten you on things to avoid during divorce.

There are other benefits of hiring a family attorney for your divorce case. Among them include representation in court, negotiation of fair settlements, and asset division.

In Domestic Partnership

Also known as civil unions, domestic partnerships continue to become more common. A civil union is where spouses settle in together without getting married.

Domestic partnerships recognize the rights and responsibilities of a typical marriage. Examples include inheritance rights, property ownership, and parental rights.

Unlike normal marriages, a civil union is a legal relationship. A legal relationship means that it must be recognized by family law.

A family lawyer will help you understand the rights and responsibilities of a civil partnership. The lawyer will also help you fill out the necessary documents.

Like in any other marriage, disputes are also common in civil unions. A family attorney will help you resolve any dispute threatening your partnership.

When You Need an Estate Plan

Creating an estate plan offers security to your loved ones when you die. An estate plan will protect your assets from being misused in your absence.

Estate planning is a legal process. So, you need a legal expert to draft an estate plan and will for you. With a professional family lawyer, you won’t have to worry about creditors and lawsuits.

A good family attorney will also oversee the division of your properties after your demise. The division of your assets will be as per your wishes.

Drafting trusts and Wills is also a complex process. Mistakes when filling out the documents can hinder your estate planning process. A professional Parramatta family lawyer will handle everything properly and give you peace of mind.

Estate planning is a long and complex process. A good family attorney will save you time, money, and energy.

You must be sure that the Parramatta family attorney you hire specializes in estate planning cases. Research the attorney’s experience and check their success rate in past related cases.

Preparing for Marriage

Marriage comes with a lot of excitement and celebrations. However, the affair must have legal recognition.

A Parramatta family attorney will help you prepare for your marriage in several ways. First, the lawyer will explain to you all the property rights. Property rights revolve around things like building a business and investing in real estate or stocks and bonds.

The lawyer will also help you understand your marital responsibilities. A family attorney will advise you on key spousal obligations to help sustain your marriage.

Financial matters challenge many new couples. A good family attorney will also advise you on how to utilize your income after getting married.

Working with a family attorney will make your marriage preparations smooth. You will have peace of mind even as you settle in with your spouse.

A Child Custody Dispute

Child custody disputes happen after divorce. Several things cause child custody conflicts.

First, both separated parents believe that they have legal rights to care for their children. As a result, no one is willing to let the other have child custody.

The other common cause of child custody conflicts is disagreements. For example, both parents can disagree over money, the child’s living arrangements, or decision-making.

Child custody conflicts also arise when the separated spouses get new partners. Just like divorce cases, child custody disputes also involve negative emotions. As a result, it becomes challenging for separated couples to solve conflicts.

Hiring a family lawyer is the best way to resolve child custody conflicts. An attorney will help you avoid making hasty decisions because of anger.

A family lawyer will also gather the right evidence to support your child custody case. With proper evidence, you’ll easily convince the court that you have the best child’s interests.

A Parramatta family attorney will also explain to you various child custody options. They include joint custody, sole, legal, and physical custody.
Adopting a Child

The process of adopting a child is a complex one. Failing to follow the Australian child adoption laws will result in legal action.

Engaging an experienced Parramatta family lawyer will speed up the process. The lawyer will fill out all the necessary paperwork and engage the right authorities. You will also not worry about legal representation during the adoption hearings/proceedings.

Hire Family Lawyers in Parramatta

Family issues are long, complex, and emotionally draining. Engaging a family lawyer will make things smoother for you.

Are you looking for family lawyers in Parramatta? Barwick Boitano Lawyers has over 30 years of experience serving Sydney’s West clients. We also specialize in Workers’ Compensation Claims, Corporate law, real estate, DUI, and criminal defence law.

Contact us today to book an appointment.

What Is Family Law? Everything You Need to Know

In 2020, the divorce rate in Australia was 1.9 divorces per every 1,000 people.

The vast majority of those divorces were processed through family court. But family law actually involves more than just divorce proceedings.

While the issues around divorce are a significant part of family law, a family law attorney has a lot more expertise than that. They’re versed in everything from reproductive rights to adoption.

To learn more about family law and what a family law attorney does, read this quick, definitive guide.

What Is Family Law?

Family law is a very broad practice area.

Generally speaking, family law governs the legal responsibilities between one or more individuals that share a domestic connection. These individuals may be blood relatives, they may be related by marriage, or they may be more distant relatives.

The issues family law focuses on include marriage, divorce, child custody, adoption, and more. But this area of law also intersects with others. For example, a child abuse case would involve both a criminal investigation as well as the family courts.

Other common areas that intersect with family law include estate planning, immigration, and naturalization law, as well as mediation and collaborative law.

What Does a Family Lawyer Do?

A family law attorney deals with all the family issues mentioned above, including marriage, divorce, child custody, and adoption. But they may also deal with issues you wouldn’t assume fall under family law. These include foster care, reproductive rights, paternity, and emancipation.

A family law attorney represents clients in a family law court. They handle negotiations and lead proceedings. They also take care of the paperwork and important legal documents (i.e. property settlements or court petitions).

As you might imagine, family law involves very sensitive matters and complicated relationships. It requires a delicate hand to navigate the issues that come up. A family lawyer is an invaluable resource in navigating these potentially choppy waters.

Who Needs a Family Law Attorney?

The vast majority of family law court proceedings are the result of divorce or the ending of a romantic relationship. That’s why many people think of family law attorneys as divorce attorneys. These lawyers take care of everything from filing for divorce to alimony and child custody.

But anybody who is dealing with legal matters of family and home may need the support of a family law attorney. These professionals can provide the best legal advice, based on experience. They’ll give the best protection to you and your loved ones as you move through the legal process.

Need Help Navigating Family Law Court?

Family law involves the legal responsibilities between individuals who share a domestic connection. It covers divorce, marriage, child custody, adoption, reproductive rights, and more.

Regardless of why you’re dealing with family court, a family law attorney is an invaluable asset in protecting yourself and your loved ones. Contact us to find out how we can help.

What To Know About Child Law And Lawyers

When dealing with child law and the lawyers that guide the proceedings, you need to understand the parental roles as well as the abilities of the legal professionals. When you have experience and knowledge on your side you can ensure you have the best approach when dealing with these sensitive topics. With our professionals, you can be sure to get the most ideal results when working on your case. Be sure to handle the situation when you have the support of expert legal advisors.

Parental Responsibility

This parental responsibility refers to the duties of parents and guardians, as well as the authority that these people have in relation to their dependants or children. Each parent will commonly have responsibilities regardless of whether they are married, in a de facto relationship, never in a relationship or another situation. This means that both parents can independently make decisions about the children between them, which continues until the children reach the age of 18 and become adults themselves. If the parents would like to create a legal obligation to jointly make major long-term decisions relating to the child’s welfare and upbringing, they should make or request a court order for Equal Shared Parental Responsibility. This court body may infact decide it is in the best interest of the children to remove parental responsibility from one or both parents, and can also decide to assign the responsibility instead to a legal guardian when the parents are not able to meet the standards needed to raise a young one responsibly.

Best Interests Of Children

When making decisions about the wellbeing of children in regards to their living and parental situation, what matters the most is that guardioans focus on what would the young one the most. Many who are separated or divorced can successfully agree on their specific arrangements for the care of their children after joint discussions, however when there is a disagreement, specialist family mediation services can be provided in order to help parents come to a mutually agreeable decision or compromise. If parents still can’t agree, a judge in a family law court will make a decision for them. The judge will decide according to the legal guidelines, without concerns for personal opinions or feelings, to find the most suitable place for the children involved.

When you take on child law it is ideal to know what you are dealing with and what makes a difference to your case. With our professional help, you can find the most ideal solutions for your situation and ensure your children are protected. Speak to our experts to get a breakdown of your situation.