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What does the Court take into account when determining what is in our children’s best interests?

What does the Court take into account when determining what is in our children’s best interests?

hands woman expresses the concept of family

There are 14 factors a Court must take into account when deciding what is in your children’s best interests. They are as follows:

  1. The benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both of the child’s parents;
  2. The need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.
  3. Any views expressed by the child and any factors (such as the child’s maturity or level of understanding) that the court thinks are relevant to the weight it should give to the child’s views;
  4. The nature of the relationship of the child with:
    – each of the child’s parents; and
    – other persons (including any grandparent or other relative of the child);
  5. The willingness and ability of each of the child’s parents to facilitate, and encourage, a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent;
  6. The likely effect of any changes in the child’s circumstances, including the likely effect on the child of any separation from:
    – either of his or her parents; or
    – any other child, or other person (including any grandparent or other relative of the child), with whom he or she has been living;
  7. The practical difficulty and expense of a child spending time with and communicating with a parent and whether that difficulty or expense will substantially affect the child’s right to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis;
  8. The capacity of:
    – each of the child’s parents; and
    – any other person (including any grandparent or other relative of the child);
  9. to provide for the needs of the child, including emotional and intellectual needs;
  10. The maturity, sex, lifestyle and background (including lifestyle, culture and traditions) of the child and of either of the child’s parents, and any other characteristics of the child that the court thinks are relevant;
  11. If the child is an Aboriginal child or a Torres Strait Islander child:
  12. The child’s right to enjoy his or her Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander culture (including the right to enjoy that culture with other people who share that culture); and
  13. The likely impact any proposed parenting order under this Part will have on that right;
  14. The attitude to the child, and to the responsibilities of parenthood, demonstrated by each of the child’s parents;
    – any family violence involving the child or a member of the child’s family;
    – any family violence order that applies to the child or a member of the child’s family, if:
    – the order is a final order; or
    – the making of the order was contested by a person;
    – whether it would be preferable to make the order that would be least likely to lead to the institution of further proceedings in relation to the child;
    – any other fact or circumstance that the court thinks is relevant.

If you need Family Law Advice (Divorce, Separation, Children’s matters), call Ruth Single now on 43247699 or visit www.familylawgosford.com.au to book your seat at our next FREE Family Law Seminar.