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What Are the Rights of Parents in the Adf Australia?

rights of parents in ADF | Justice Family Lawyers

The rights of parents in ADF, or the Australian Defence Force, are the same as those of non-defence parents.

Often, military members and their partners or families have to relocate or spend a lot of time apart repeatedly.

Furthermore, relationship breakdowns of families with members in the military bring about unique and delicate cases, so they are often given additional consideration and concessions.

In this blog, we’ll cover these considerations and concessions.

Rights of parents in ADF and relocation decisions about work

Parents in the military are often deployed to different locations to work, and the courts consider that when helping with parenting matters involving parties from the ADF. 

The court considers the child’s best interest first when dealing with the rights of parents in ADF, but that often isn’t the only consideration.

In 2017, the court ordered (in the case of Wedland Vs. Wedland) that the child could relocate with the mother, who worked for the Australian Defence Force and was the primary caretaker of the child, wherever she was posted before she knew where she would be assigned to. 

The father appealed the decision arguing that this arrangement would affect his relationship with the child. The mother was still allowed to relocate with the child, with the court responding that the child could still have a meaningful relationship with the father.

Ultimately, the court will rule according to the child’s best interest, considering who the primary carer is.

If you want to separate from a partner in the ADF and are concerned about parenting arrangements, contact a family lawyer and explore your options.

If you’re concerned about your ex-partner experiencing PTSD and are thus worried about your child’s safety, let your lawyer know. The court will consider this.

Also read: Co-parenting with Different Religion

Rights of parents in the ADF and division of assets and superannuation

The rights of parents in the ADF when it comes to property settlements and division of assets are similar to parents that are not in the ADF.

The main difference with ADF members is that they accrue substantial benefits in pensions and superannuation interests. 

Superannuation is treated as part of the asset pool during a separation, and parties in the Australian Defence Force are subject to the same considerations.

Usually, to determine the best way to divide assets, the court will investigate the following: 

  • The length of the relationship (marriage or De Facto)
  • Whether the years of service, superannuation and interest were accrued during the relationship
  • Valuation of the Superannuation of each party
  • Financial contributions of each party during the partnership
  • Domestic (and other) contributions made during the partnership
  • The welfare of children or dependents
  • Differences in income between the parties
  • The financial responsibilities of each party

Each case is different, and property settlement can vary vastly from one couple to the next. If you are concerned about your assets and are going through a separation, consult a legal practitioner to learn how to protect yourself and your finances.

Alternatively, consult with one of our lawyers regarding child custody if you’d like to learn more about parenting involving members of the Australian Defence Force and what you’d be entitled to.

What is the ADF’s Policy on Parental Leave?

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has a parental leave policy that allows members to take time off work to care for a new child.

The policy covers both maternity leave and parental leave.

These policies are part of the rights of parents in ADF.

Maternity leave is granted to pregnant or recently given birth members.

Members are entitled to up to 52 weeks of unpaid maternity leave, which can be taken in one continuous period or two or more separate periods.

Members are also eligible for up to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, delivered at the member’s regular pay rate.

Parental leave is available to members caring for a new child, whether the child is biological, adopted, or fostered.

Members are entitled to up to 14 weeks of unpaid parental leave, which can be taken within 66 weeks of the child’s birth or adoption. Members are also eligible for up to 20 days of paid parental leave, paid at the member’s regular pay rate.

To be eligible for parental leave, members must have worked for the ADF for at least 12 months before the date of birth or adoption of the child.

The ADF’s parental leave policy is designed to allow members to balance their work and family commitments. The policy also helps ensure members are not financially disadvantaged when taking time off to care for a new child.

Here is a table that summarizes the ADF’s parental leave policy:

Type of leaveDuration


Maternity leaveUp to 52 weeksUnpaid or paid (14 weeks)
Parental leaveUp to 14 weeksUnpaid or paid (20 days)

Also read: The Rewards and Challenges of Step Parent Adoption in NSW

Does the ADF Provide Childcare Support for Service Members?

Yes, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) provides childcare support for service members. The ADF offers a variety of childcare options, including:

  • Defence childcare centres: The ADF operates a network of childcare centres around Australia. Licensed childcare providers manage these centres and offer various services, including daycare, after-school, and vacation care.
  • Individual case management: The ADF also provides personal case management to service members having difficulty finding childcare. Case managers can help service members find suitable childcare in their local area and provide financial assistance to help with the cost of childcare.
  • Local community childcare: The ADF also supports local community childcare providers. Service members can receive priority access to childcare places at these providers.
  • Family day care: Family day care is a type of childcare where children are cared for in the home of a licensed carer. The ADF can provide financial assistance to service members who use family daycare.
  • Salary packaging childcare: Service members can salary package childcare costs. This means the ADF can pay for childcare directly from the service member’s salary before tax is deducted.


What Are the Rights of Parents in ADF?

Discover your rights as a parent serving in the Australian Defence Force.

At Justice Family Lawyers, we’re here to guide you through the complexities of military regulations.

Don’t navigate this journey alone; let our experienced team be your compass. Contact Justice Family Lawyers today – because your family is our priority.

2 thoughts on “What Are the Rights of Parents in the Adf Australia?”

  1. Hi ,

    I want to join ADF but I’m very concerned about my husband and daughter ( 8 year old ) . Can I still join as a part time near by and come home everyday ?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Nancy, questions regarding potential employment terms and posting locations with the ADF would be best directed to them. Thanks

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