Can The Court Make an Order for Children Not to See a Parent?
If a Court is required to make an order about the living arrangements for children after parents separate, then usually it will make an order ensuring that the children regularly see both parents. The living arrangements that a Court orders depends on the individual circumstances of each family and include:
- Children living with each parent on a week about basis;
- Children living with one parent and spending time with the other parent for anywhere between 1 night and 6 nights per fortnight;
- Children spending time with each parent during school holidays.
Sometimes the Court makes an order for the children to not see a parent but this is only done in circumstances where the Court believes that that it is not in the best interests of the children. The Court may make an order for children to not see a parent when there are serious concerns about the care of the children when with a parent. These serious concerns include:
- When children will be or have been exposed to significant family violence when in the care of a parent;
- When a parent has significant mental health issues and has not taken steps to address such issues;
- When a parent has an illegal substance addiction;
- When a parent has sexually abused a child of the relationship or engaged in conduct where the Court believes that there will be an “unacceptable risk” for the children to see the parent.
A parent concerned about if the children should see the other parent should:
- Be clear about the reasons why the children should not see the other parent;
- Consider if the other parent can do anything such as counselling, behaviour change programs or seek medical assistance;
- Consider if the other parent can see the children whilst supervised by another person or through the use of supervised contact centre.
Before a parent decides that the children should not see the other parent and is considering asking a Court to make such an order then he/she should obtain advice from a qualified family lawyer to discuss the specific circumstances of his/her family and the options available to minimise the impact on the children.
If you need advice about any family law matter then Armstrong Legal have experienced family lawyers throughout Australia with Accredited Family Law Specialists in Melbourne, Victoria to provide you with the advice that you need.
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