Custody rights for Fathers

Getting a divorce is an incredibly difficult process to go through. The process can be even more traumatic and painful if there are children involved. Young children often struggle to cope with the fact that their parents are getting divorced. It is for this reason that it is crucial that any children involved in a divorce are at the forefront of all negotiations. The interests of the child(ren) must be placed ahead of anything else.

In accordance to Australian family law, children have the liberty to enjoy a “meaningful relationship” with both of their parents. The Court must, however, ensure that the child is always protected from harm and not placed in a supervision situation where their safety could be compromised. Historically, the courts have favoured the mother, meaning custody rights for fathers have been largely neglected. However, that isn’t to say that the dad in the situation has no input in important decisions relating to the child. If you are going through a divorce and are worried about the arrangements for your children, get in touch with O’Sullivan Legal as soon as possible!

Custody Rights for Fathers – Parental Responsibility

If the child is under the age of 18, parental responsibility is shared between the mum and the dad. This is known as “equal shared parental responsibility.” Basically, both the mum and the dad must come to a joint decision regarding where the child will attend school, religious obligations (if applicable) and important health-related decisions.
Having said this, the court does have the power to remove “parental responsibility” from one or even both parents in question. This will come into the play if there is any evidence of domestic abuse, drug taking or other forms of criminal activity. Naturally, custody rights for fathers are impinged on if such activity does occur and, more importantly, if it puts the child at risk.

Custody Rights for Fathers – Parenting Time

It’s important to recognise that there is a difference between “parenting responsibility” and “parenting time.” While the custody rights for fathers may include equal parenting responsibility, this doesn’t necessarily equate to equal parenting time. In fact, there is no strict law or rule that says the child must spend 50:50 time with both the mum and the dad. Often, a 50:50 split is too hard to manage, meaning the child will have to spend slightly more time with one parent (often, it is the mother).

Custody Rights for Fathers – Parenting Orders

It is preferable for all arrangements to be settled outside of the courtroom. If this is achieved, you can get in touch with a reliable divorce lawyer, like a member of the team at O’Sullivan Legal, who can help devise your parenting orders. Also known as “consent orders”, these documents outline the agreed custody rights for fathers and mothers.

It is important to remember that most divorced dads do not gain full-time guardianship of their child. The courts tend to shy away from situations of complete full-time care, unless absolutely necessary (e.g. one parent is unable to fulfil their responsibilities). However, if the divorce is messy, then there is a chance that the mother may deny access to the child. In this situation, the custody rights for fathers are challenged, meaning hiring a solicitor is almost mandatory. Our law agency will fight hard to obtain visitation if you believe that your child has been unfairly taken away from you.

Custody rights for Fathers – Why Choose O’SULLIVAN LEGAL

There are so many law firms in Sydney. So, the real question is, why should you choose O’Sullivan Legal? Well, we’re not going to waste your time with flowery statements and exaggerated promises. We’ll keep it simple and straight to the point.

Proven Results

We are one of the best performing family law agencies in Sydney. Our client list has grown off the back of our success and we endeavour to continue our winning rate to get the best custody rights for fathers.


We bring a whole new level of commitment to everything we do. We are devoted to getting you a good and fair outcome for your divorce. We will always put the interests of your children first, while balancing your desire to have greater access to them.


You want a law firm that you can trust and rely on. Thankfully, the team at O’Sullivan Legal will never let you down. No matter how complex your questions or needs may be, we will exceed your expectations.


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