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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5421
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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Australian mother American father, unmarried. If the mother

Customer Question

Australian mother American father, unmarried. If the mother chooses to have the baby in Australia, what rights does the father have in terms of custody with the child?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 2 years ago.
Under Australian law the interests of the child are the paramount concern and there is a general presumption that it is in the interests of a child to develop and maintain a good relationship with both parents, and the law makes virtually no distinction simply because the parents may be unmarried. It is only in situations where the court is satisfied a parent poses a real risk to the safety of a child that the presumption that both parents should share custody and access may be overcome (such as where a parent has a history of violence, drug abuse, or serious mental health issues).Whilst the courts will consider the possibility of evenly shared custody of a child, in practice the courts will rarely make orders supporting such an arrangement simply because of practicalities, such as the work commitments of parents making such an arrangement impractical.In your situation, if the father is based overseas, it may be implausible for him to gain very substantial direct access, but it may be possible for the father to obtain orders allowing the children to either spend holidays with him, either overseas or in Australia for extended periods, and a court may order the main custodial parent to arrange regular telephone, skype or similar contact with the child so that child's relationship with the overseas based parent can be supported. That said, the court may be wary of allowing children to leave the country if there is a genuine concern that the foreign parent may not return the child, in which case the court may insist that such a parent will have to visit Australia but may not be allowed to take the children out of the country. Only a fully briefed lawyer familiar with the issues and reasons for concern can give firm advice about this issue should it be relevant to your case.I trust the above assists.Please rate my answer.Patrick