Child Custody Battles in Australia: Everything You Need to Know

April 22, 2024    divorcelawyersperthwa
Child Custody Battles in Australia: Everything You Need to Know

Nowadays, with divorce being common everywhere, child custody battles have become increasingly prominent. The divorced parents face several legal and emotional problems dealing with the complexities of the Australian Family Law even with the support of child support lawyers Perth. The Family Law Act in Australia was established in 1975 with the best interests of the child in mind.

Knowledge about the different custody styles and factors to consider while negotiating, as well as several legal rights, is important for parents in planning a perfect solution for their child. It is dependent on the parents if they want to settle the dispute discreetly or take it to court for the benefit of the child.

This blog will discuss everything you need to know about child custody battles in Australia.

Types of Custody Arrangements

Parents might agree on numerous custody arrangements, or the court can order after determining what is best for the child. These include joint custody, primary custody with visitation, and sole custody.

  • Joint custody

Joint custody refers to allowing both parents to take responsibility for their child. The child spends time in both families, such as one week with one parent and the following week with the other.

When the court grants shared physical custody, it frequently (but only sometimes) grants joint legal custody. This means parents must continue making joint decisions concerning their children even if they have divorced or cut their ties.

  • Primary custody with visitation rights

In some circumstances, one parent is given primary custody, and the other only has visitation rights for a certain period. For example, the child could live full-time with one parent and see the other every other weekend or during school holidays.

If a parent is given primary physical custody rights, they may also be granted legal custody. However, this is not always the case, and the parents may continue to enjoy joint legal custody and make decisions together.

  • Sole custody

Sole custody indicates that one parent has physical custody of the child while the other has limited or no access. In extreme circumstances, such as those involving abuse or neglect, the court may even terminate the non-custodial parent’s parental rights.

When a parent is given sole custody, they are typically granted sole legal custody, allowing the custodial parent to decide about their kid independently.

Child Custody Battle: Overview of the Process

Making arrangements

In most circumstances, both parents should discuss their kid’s specific requirements and agree on where the child will reside and how they will spend time with their parents.
If parents disagree over custody arrangements for their children after separation, professional family services can assist them in reaching an agreement.

Court procedure

This is when the child custody struggle begins. If parents cannot agree on arrangements for their children, they may have to resort to legal action. The family court will hear from both parents and then issue a ‘parenting order’ outlining how responsibility for the child will be divided.

The court will issue orders that are in the child’s best interests, taking into account a variety of situations.

Joint parental duty

Unless the court issues an order modifying the legal approval of shared parental responsibility, both parents have equal parental responsibility for their child until the child reaches the age of 18.

Financial status

The court may consider each parent’s financial position, including their income and ability to pay for the child.

Legal standards for child custody

The court considers several factors when making decisions regarding child custody, including:

  • The child’s age, physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
  • The parent’s ability to provide a lovely and safe environment to the child.
  • The relationship of the child with their parents
  • Any cases of domestic violence, drug abuse, or neglecting the child.
  • Understanding these factors will help you file for a custody arrangement in the child’s best interest.

Common Child Custody Issues

Some of the regular issues that lead to child custody battles include:

  • Relocation

If a parent decides to relocate to another place, it causes complications with the custody arrangements. Consulting with separation lawyers Perth will help you solve these issues.

  • Visitation rights

Determining the amount of time or frequency of the child’s visit to any of their parents is a crucial matter. Creating a perfect plan that satisfies both parents and the child is necessary.

  • Modifications

Nothing is set on paper. Due to circumstances, there are modifications to the custody arrangements. It can be easily handled with legal assistance.

  • The Child’s Best Interest

No matter how the relationship is between the parents, the court makes custody arrangements by prioritizing the child’s best interests. The child’s stability, safety, and emotional well-being are considered before making the arrangements.


Navigating child custody battles in Australia involves a thorough understanding of family law, excellent communication, and a dedication to putting the child’s best interests first. Parents can work with child support lawyers Perth or the court to develop custody arrangements that support their children’s well-being and happiness.

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