Mothers’ Rights After Separation

Custody Rights for Mothers

Mothers’ rights do not technically exist within Australian family law. Fathers’ rights do not exist either.

This is because instead of focusing on the rights of parents, the family court instead makes the rights of children its highest priority in parenting cases.

Neither parent is treated preferentially and the court bases its decision on its consideration of the child’s best interests.

The main idea of the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006 is the presumption of shared parental responsibility.

This encourages shared custody rights and stems from the belief that children deserve to enjoy meaningful relationships with both of their parents, as well as that a parent’s responsibility and duty of care for their child does not change if their marital status changes.

When the proceedings for making parenting orders begin, the court works with the assumption that it is in the child’s best interests to remain connected to both of their parents.

Being a mother or a father makes no difference.

Parents must show that they are willing to work together respectfully in order to achieve a result that reflects what is best for their child

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    What are my rights as a mother after my separation in Australia?

    Understanding your rights as a mother following separation is crucial for your well-being and that of your children. Australian law provides a framework to support mothers during this significant life change.

    Essential Rights for Mothers:

    • Custody and Parenting Time: You have the right to seek parenting arrangements that best serve your children’s interests, including decisions about living arrangements and time with each parent. This right aims to ensure that the emotional and developmental needs of your children are met, while also considering your role and involvement in their lives.
    • Child Support: You are entitled to child support from your former partner, contributing to the costs of raising your children. This is calculated based on income and custody details. This financial support is critical in providing stability and security for your children’s upbringing and education.
    • Spousal Maintenance: Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to spousal maintenance to help you maintain a reasonable standard of living post-separation. This can be a vital support system, enabling you to transition into post-separation life with financial independence and dignity.
    • Property and Financial Settlements: You have rights regarding the division of property and financial assets acquired during your relationship, including the family home, savings, and superannuation. These rights ensure a fair distribution of assets, recognizing your contributions to the relationship and safeguarding your financial future.
    • Protection from Violence: If you are experiencing family violence, legal protections are available. Your safety and your children’s safety are of utmost importance. These measures are in place to provide immediate and effective protection, ensuring a safe environment for you and your children.
    • Legal Representation and Support: You have the right to legal support to help you through the separation process, from understanding your rights to negotiating agreements and court representation. This support is essential in navigating the legal complexities of separation, ensuring your rights are upheld and your voice is heard in all proceedings.


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