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Is There a Bias Against Fathers When Determining Parenting Applications?


I often hear complaints about the perceived bias against fathers in cases before the Court about parenting issues. In society and not that long ago in the courts, the father’s role and contribution to the family was often seen as financial. However, with amendments to the family law legislation and a shift in society, we are seeing an increasing amount of orders being made for children to primarily live with or spend substantial time with their fathers. Fathers can be nurturing and can actively share all aspects of care of their children. To say a father’s contribution to their child is merely monetary I consider is unfounded and “out of touch”.

Orders are now frequently drafted to enable both parents to be “hands on” and participate in their children’s everyday lives. Orders providing for the children to live with both parents during the week means that both parents can potentially collect them from school, mingle with parents of their friends, help with their homework, attend at their extra curricular activities, attend at significant events such as assemblies, and arguably have greater and more quality communication.

When determining a parenting application, the court must consider what orders are in the children’s best interests. Perhaps one parent may work longer hours compared to the other, the parents live far apart, the children are too young or the parents do not have an effective communicative relationship, and it is therefore not practical or in the children’s best interests to have orders in place for the children to live with both parents during the week. I consider it is due to one or a combination of the above factors that Orders may not provide for the care of the children to be shared and not as a consequence of a bias against fathers.

Image Credit – Evgeny Atamanenko © 123RF.com

Written by Kate Marr on March 28, 2017

She has a passion for helping people with their family law problems. She has special expertise in complex financial matters where her commerce background provides her with an an advantage in dealing with cases involving hidden assets, non-disclosure, overseas assets and family businesses. View Kate's profile


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