What are my Parental Rights

The most common misconception amongst separating parents is that they have parental rights to children.

Under the Family Law Act, only the children have rights, nobody else does. These rights are to have a relationship and spend time with their parents and anyone else important to their lives provided this can happen safely and they are protected from harm.

If parents (or anyone else interested) can’t agree on whether someone should be in the children’s life and to what extent, a Court will work this issue out on a basis that is in the children’s best interests.

Sometimes the answer is every second weekend and half the school holidays. Sometimes the answer is equal time. Sometimes the answer is supervised time. Sometimes the answer is no time. Every case is assessed on its own facts and merits, with the assistance of lawyers for the parties and social scientists like psychologists and social workers.

There are many things that a Court has to turn its mind to in assessing what (if anything) is in the children’s best interests when deciding whether someone should be in the children’s life and if so, to what extent and with what (if any) safeguards.

These things are set out in the Family Law Act.

It isn’t enough to be a good parent.

You also need to convince a Court that you are also a good co-parent.

That means that you don’t have any misplaced hang-ups about the other party being involved in the children’s lives and that you facilitate the children’s relationship with the other party.

The Court is always less than impressed by anyone who is passive about facilitating the other party’s relationship with the children, or worse, actively sabotages or alienates that relationship.

Freedom Law are here to help with family law problems. Contact us anytime to arrange an in person or e-consultation with one of our family lawyers.


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