When it comes to family law parenting matters, the Court’s main concern is “what is in the children’s best interest?” This is a hard
question to answer. Research shows that it is not in the children’s best interest to be involved in the conflict resulting from separation.
How does the Court decide what is in the children’s best interest?
Sad to say, there is no set checklist to work from, but the key principles to balance are:
1. The benefit of the children having a meaningful relationship with both parents; and
2. The need to protect children from harm or from being subjected or exposed to abuse, neglect or family violence.
The need to protect children from harm is given the greatest weight by the Court.
If you hold significant concerns for your children’s safety and well-being while in the care of the other parent, you should consider
stepping in to remove the children from harm’s way. However, it is important to understand that having these concerns for your children’s
safety does not mean you should cut contact between the children and other parent completely.
To avoid this occurring, a third party may supervise the other parent’s time with the children or contact may be by telephone or other
electronic communication methods.
Do not confuse differences in parenting styles or personality with a genuine need to protect your children from harm. Also, do not withhold
children because of an argument or dispute between you and the other parent.
Withholding children without reasonable cause is not looked upon favourably by the Court. If you cannot promote a positive relationship
between your children and the other parent for your children’s sake, then do it for yourself.
It is important to note that the circumstances of each case vary and each case is determined by the Courts on its own merit. You cannot
assume that because the facts of someone else are similar to your own, that the case will necessarily be determined in the same way.
The information outlined above is of general nature and is not to be construed as specific advice. We cannot take responsibility for the
actions of reader based on this information. If you need assistance about your matter, please contact us for professional and confidential
Please note the content of this post is information only and not legal advice. If you require legal advice it is best to contact
one of our lawyers who can review your particular circumstances and then provide tailored advice according to your needs.