Separated Husbands: Your Rights as a Father

Man holding "family law" sign

Divorce is a painful and traumatic thing to go through for both couples and their children. Whenever a married couple separates, we often hear more about the mother’s rights and are nearly ignorant of the father’s legal claims.  

Under Australian law, it is the right of every child to enjoy meaningful relationships with both parents and be protected from harm. The Australian Family Law Act 1975 does not make any assumption on the parenting roles regardless of gender. This means that when a family court makes decisions, it is always in the child’s best interest.

It is important to note that if you are undergoing a family crisis that might require legal intervention, you may talk to family lawyers in Townsville, Melbourne, Sydney, or wherever you are in the country.

Parental Responsibility

Equal shared parental responsibility allows both parents equal involvement in raising the child. As a father, this means you are equally responsible for raising your children and providing for them. 

The courts will require both parents to provide adequate and proper parenting so they achieve their full potential as individuals. Fathers have as much say in major decisions for the child’s welfare like health decisions, educational opportunities, and religious upbringing among other things.

Parenting Time

Parental responsibility is not the same as parental time. Having both parents involved in the child’s life can be beneficial for the child’s welfare in the long run, so if circumstances permit, fathers have a chance at an equal amount of time to spend with the child. 

However, that is not always the case. If the court finds that one parent is unfit to take care of the child, they will award full custody of the child to the other parent, regardless of gender. This means that if a mother does not measure up to the court’s standards of parental capacity, the father gets full custody of the child. This also works vice versa.

Denying a child contact with the other parent has pretty serious consequences that can affect a child’s growth, development, and welfare.

Parenting Arrangements

Father hugging child before he leaves

Every family is different, which means what could work for you won’t work with another. There are always different contexts to consider in coming up with parenting arrangements. 

The primary consideration should always be what’s best for the children. A parent must never interfere with the other parent’s fulfillment of their duties and responsibilities. Since context is a primary consideration for parenting arrangements, a good rule of thumb to follow is to always make decisions based on what will benefit the child for the long term.

At the end of the day, no matter how you look at things, neither the father nor the mother has the upper hand in this situation. Technically, father’s and mother’s rights do not exist because the emphasis is on the rights and the welfare of the children. Instead of focusing on the parents’ rights, the court chooses to turn its attention to what’s best for the children, making it a priority over the parents.

As long as you fulfill all your obligations in rearing your child right, you will continue to enjoy parenting privileges afforded by the law.

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