If parents can’t agree on where the children should be living, the court will make a decision about where the children should live. For the court to make this decision, they’ll look at the relevant factors in the Family Law Act to make this decision which may include:
a) the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both of the child’s parents; and
b) the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.
There are other things that the court looks at when making a decision about child custody. They may ask the child themselves about their views and where they would like to live. The court may also look at the relationship that the child has with each of the child’s parents and extended family members and as a result put the child in the care of people that they are comfortable with.
The court may also look at the history of the parents and make a decision based on whether or not they have taken opportunities to spend time and communicate with their child. This is why we advise our client’s to consistently take notes of what they and their ex-partners have been doing before a child custody case is to go before the court.
The past will be taken into consideration, however, the future of the child is also largely important. An assessment will be made about the ability of the parents to provide for the upcoming needs of the child, including the ability to be available financially, emotionally and intellectually for the child.