Nina talks us through kids and separation

There is no rule as to who the children should live with following the separation of their parents.

The Court will always look at the best interests of the children, not necessarily what either of the parents want.

The best interests of a child includes, except in the most exceptional of circumstances, having a meaningful relationship with both parents.  Thus, it is highly unusual that the Court would order that one parent never have any contact with a child.

If the parents cannot decide time spending arrangements between them through negotiation and the Court is required to intervene, the Court will also have regard to factors such as:-

  • primary attachment theory (which parent the child is most closely bonded with);
  • the age of the child;
  • what the normal living arrangements have been both prior to and following separation of the parents;
  • the housing and lifestyle circumstances of each parent;
  • whether there are other siblings that the subject child should maintain a relationship with;
  • whether there is a history of family violence;

and so forth.

It is important to act promptly if there is a dispute regarding parenting arrangements, as the Court may otherwise consider the arrangements that have followed separation as representing the status quo and make interim orders reflecting same, even where one parent has not agreed to those arrangements.

Need advice?

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