Your rights as a parent

It’s suprising what you find in your newsfeed on Facebook at times.

This morning I saw in my newsfeed an ad for a Perth firm titled “What are my rights – a question all Dads should ask”.

Whilst I’m only in my mid-30s, I have been around long enough to have seen a number of changes in terminology in the family law system.  Gone are the days of talking about guardianship, access, contact, and residence.  Thankfully, we’ve never ever used the term “visitation” in Australia!

In 1990, Australia ratified the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC).  Since that time, amendments have been gradually made to the Family Law Act to reflect the important aspects of the CRC.

The simple fact of the matter is that under the Family Law Act parent’s don’t have rights.  They have parental responsibilities.  The child has rights.

Section 60B of the Family Law Act sets out the principles relating to parenting orders and in particular, the rights of a child and the responsibilities of parents.  I have summarised these below:

Rights of a child:

  • to know and be cared for by both its parents;
  • to be protected from physical or psychological harm, abuse, neglect or family violence;
  • to spend regular time with and communicate with its parents, or other significant people in their lives such as grandparents; and
  • to enjoy their culture and participate in cultural activities with their family members.

Responsibilities of parents

  • to ensure  that a child receives adequate and proper parenting to help them achieve their full potential;
  • to protect a child from physical or psychological harm, abuse, neglect or family violence;
  • to promote and foster a meaningful relationship between the child and the other parent; and
  • agree on decisions about long-term issues relating to a child.

If you have concerns about parental responsibilities and your obligations, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Important Notice

All articles and posts on this site contain general legal information and is not a complete statement of the law.  You should obtain specific advice about your own circumstances and not rely upon any articles or posts until you have done so.  Andrew McCormack and Best Wilson Buckley Family Law Pty Ltd will not accept any liability or responsibility for loss occurring (including negligence) as a result of any person or entity acting or refraining from acting in reliance on any material contained herein.  Information current as at date of posting.

Liability is limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation

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