Father's rights and responsibilities: Family Law and Children Law
A father's rights are essentially the same as a mother's rights. However, a father's rights can be at times difficult to enforce. This article discusses one of the most common circumstances where fathers find it difficult to enforce their rights.
I had a one-night stand with a woman, and now she's pregnant. What are my rights and responsibilities?
The Family Law Act (Cth) 1975 does not favour one parent over the other. In fact, one of the primary considerations when determining what is in the child's best interests is 'the benefit of a child to have a meaningful relationship with both of his or her parents'.
Furthermore, the nature of the relationship of the child with each of his or her parents; and the likely effect on a child of any separation from either of his or her parents are examples of the many additional considerations the Family Court and/or the Federal Circuit Court takes into account.
Accordingly, whether or not a father is in a relationship (whether a de facto relationship or married) with the mother of their child, a father's relationship with the child is very important in determining what is in the best interests of a child.
With rights, comes responsibilities.
Every parent has a responsibility to care for their child and the Family Law Act (Cth) 1974 recognises that both parents of a child have a parental responsibility towards such child.
The Family Law Act (Cth) 1974 also provides a presumption that it is in the child's best interest for his or her parents to have equal shared parental responsibility. However, it is important to remember that this presumption does not provide for a further presumption about the amount of time the child spends with each of his or her parents.
In addition, both parents of the child have the primary duties to maintain such child, according to the Child Support (Assessment) Act (Cth) 1989. Accordingly, whether or not a father intends to be in a relationship with the mother of their child, he also has the duty to maintain the child which can be done by paying child support.
Sydney Lawyers and Associates Pty Ltd have successfully represented a number of fathers who are seeking to enforce their parental rights, as well as fathers who are seeking assistance with disputes relating to child support. Contact Sydney Lawyers and Associates Pty Ltd today for a confidential and obligation free advice.These articles are intended only to provide a summary of the subject matter covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render legal advice. No reader should act on the basis of any matter contained in this article without first obtaining specific professional advice.