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Mother vs Father Custody Statistics in Australia

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The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) reports that gender-based child custody statistics reveal the following:

Mother’s role in child custody:

  • Mothers are the custodial parents in about 80% of cases.
  • Mothers are the primary decision-makers daily in over 90% of court-approved joint custody situations.

Father’s role in child custody:

  • Fathers secure sole custody in roughly 10% of all instances.
  • Fathers are the primary custodial parent in around 11% of cases.
  • Joint custody is awarded to fathers in about 7% of situations.

Additional data shows:

  • The court system determines custody arrangements by just 3% of separated parents, primarily those dealing with family violence, child safety concerns, and other intricate problems.
  • 97% of separated parents avoid court to settle their custody disputes, with 16% seeking assistance from family dispute resolution services or legal counsel.
  • Mothers provide at least 53% of the childcare in 83% of cases, while fathers do so in only 7%.
  • Although perceived as gender-biased, 81.2% of sole custody cases are granted to mothers. 53% of judge-decided cases rule for primary parental responsibility, while parent-resolved cases result in shared parental responsibility 93% of the time.

These statistics suggest that Australian fathers are not systematically disadvantaged in child custody decisions. The courts aim to act in the child’s best interest, independent of the parent’s gender.

It’s important to remember that custody decisions are individualized, and there’s no universally applicable approach.

Also read: Father’s Rights After Separation

Why Do Mothers Have Higher Custody Statistics Than Fathers?

Reasons for higher custody rates for mothers compared to fathers in Australia include:

  • Primary Caregiver Status: Mothers are often the child’s primary caregivers, making them more likely to win custody based on their close relationship with the child.
  • Child Support: In many cases, the child is placed under the mother’s primary care while the father pays child support.
  • Past Legal Preference: Before the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility Act) 2006, the law usually favoured mothers for custody awards, even when fathers had been the primary caregivers pre-separation.
  • Shift towards Shared Parental Responsibility: Post-2006, courts in Australia have aimed for ‘equal shared parental responsibility,’ where parents are involved in decisions about their children’s future.
  • Changing Family Structures: According to the 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 42% of children under 18 lived in single-parent households, which continues to rise yearly. Additionally, the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that 20% of children live in blended families, which include step-siblings and step-parents.

These factors and statistics are essential for parents seeking to make informed decisions regarding child custody.

Also read: Mother’s Rights After Separation

Mother vs Father Custody Statistics in Australia

If you’re navigating the complex waters of child custody, trust our lawyers to be your ally.

Our expertise in family law ensures you’ll receive comprehensive advice and robust representation.

Don’t let statistics discourage you; let us champion your cause for your child’s best interests.

Contact Justice Family Lawyers today.

3 thoughts on “Mother vs Father Custody Statistics in Australia”

      1. Men have no rights in Australia. Men are third class citizens in the legal system. False accusations against men are by default true, men are default abusers, men are default third class.
        Mothers lying in court is 100% ok with the courts and nothing will be done.
        The Australian legal system is now a joke and does not represent men. This is a national security issue because men are waking up. Good luck if we have a war, I don’t know of a man who has had experience with the joke that is Australian family law who will willingly go to war to protect this. The law represents the country and this country has made it loud and clear… Australia hates men!

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