What Are Considered The Best Interests of the Child?
In parenting matters, the Court’s main focus is making orders that align with the children’s best interests as this remains the paramount consideration. But how does the Court determine what is in the best interests of the child?
There is no hard and fast rule for this. Each case is decided depending on it’s own circumstances and there are a number of considerations the Court takes into account.
These considerations are broken down into “primary” considerations and “additional” considerations.
The primary considerations include the benefit to the children of having a meaningful relationship with both their parents and the need to protect the children from physical or emotional harm.
The additional considerations include matters such as:
- The children’s views and wishes (depending on their age and maturity level);
- Significant others in the children’s lives (such as grandparents);
- The effect on the children;
- The practical difficulty and expense associated with the children spending time with a parent;
- Providing for the children’s physical and mental needs;
- The parent’s attitude and demonstrated responsibilities of being a parent;
- Connection to social heritage and background;
- Whether there is any family violence or if the children are or have been at risk; and
- Any other consideration the Court deems appropriate in the circumstances.
The Court will examine the historical parenting arrangements and most importantly, the events that have occurred post-separation. Often the level of communication between the parents is significant in the Court’s decision and impacts the type of arrangements that are ordered by the Court.
If you need help, to discuss parenting matters and whether mediation could be an appropriate pathway, please contact the Brisbane family lawyers team at James Noble Law to arrange a free, no-obligation 20-minute consultation to discuss your particular circumstances.
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