Do Mothers have more rights than Fathers in Australia?

Do mothers have more rights than fathers in australian family law

Sometimes fathers feel like mothers have more rights than fathers in Australia’s family law system. 

But the truth is, unlike some other countries, there is no gender bias in the Family Law Act.  The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia are required to make orders that are in the best interests of children, regardless of the parent’s gender or sexual orientation.

What rights do fathers have in Australian family law?

Fathers don’t have rights in Australian family law.

But nor do mothers. 

Yes, you read that right!  

The way our family law system is structured, it is children who have the right to have a meaningful relationship with both their parents and other significant people in their lives (like grandparents and step-parents). 

The exception to this is if there is abuse or other risk factors meaning it is not safe for there to be a relationship.

What can I do if I am not seeing my child?

Being separated from your child is very distressing.

The first step you can take is to try to understand why it is happening.  Sometimes there may be a very clear reason (such as drug abuse) that you can address.  Other times it might not be clear to you.

The next step you can take is to engage in mediation.  In situations where you are not having any time, we recommend child-inclusive mediation or, for babies, infants, and toddlers, child-focussed mediation.

These mediation processes include a qualified and experienced Child Consultant who can work with both parents and rather than talking about fathers rights and mothers rights, instead try to find out why the children are not spending time with a parent and how that might be able to change. 

I'm a victim of parental alienation. What can I do?

Parental alienation is a complex issue and often there are many factors at play.  Litigation often entrenches both parents’ positions and does little to resolve the underlying cause of the children resisting or refusing time with a parent.

In Child inclusive mediation, our Child Consultant will meet with the children to try to better understand, from an independent perspective, what is going on for them.   Taking onboard feedback from this process, may help restore the relationship. 

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