BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD

If your situation involves children in a family legal case then it is critical to understand that the court will make a decision concerning their care based primarily on the 1975 Family Law Act, Section 60CC.

  • You can find the primary definition in law by clicking here, and a useful overview by clicking here.

  • A general rule of thumb is that every communication with or submission / application to the courts should take these factors into account. Any other factor is largely irrelevant.

  • When making divorce applications, responding to divorce applications or writing affidavits to the court, it is crucial to remember that the children’s best interests are paramount. It would be best if you made sure every communication or submission should be structured around these factors, and any other factor should be largely irrelevant. The courts must consider what is in the child’s best interests when deciding divorce proceedings and orders.

  • The family law system states that each parent must consider the best interest factors when making parenting orders and proposals. These include the benefit to a child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents; the need for stability, continuity and certainty; and any views expressed by a mature child to make an informed decision.

  • It is essential to understand how divorce court works and ensure that any application or submission is written with the child’s best interests in mind. This will help ensure that the court sees you acting as a good parent or guardian and that your communication is structured around the best interests factors. Doing so will give the court greater confidence in its decision-making process.

  • Consider that if a court is primarily focused on the legally defined ‘best interests of the child’, and you’re spending your time trying to prove that the other parent is lying, being horrid or unfair to you etc., its really just going to irritate the judge who need to do their job. We all sometimes feel the need to strive for fairness and justice but that’s not what the court is there to do; it is there to deliver the best interest of the child and not what you or the other parent want or feel you need. Not understanding this leads to so many issues around expectations that are not met and resulting disappointment and depression.

  • Pursuing something (anything) other than the best interest of the child criteria in a family court case is a little like trying to force everyone to play cricket in the middle of a football game – as much as you might want it so, and think that’s right, no one else there is going to do it and you’ll only alienate them and upset yourself in the process of trying to do it.

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