The Attorney-General’s Department administer the Family Law Act 1975.

When a court makes a parenting order, the Family Law Act requires it to regard the best interests of the child as the most important consideration. Parents are encouraged to use this principle when making parenting plans.

The Family Law Act focuses on the rights of children and the responsibilities that each parent has towards their children, rather than on parental rights. The Act aims to ensure that children can enjoy a meaningful relationship with each of their parents, and are protected from harm.

The Family Law Act makes clear that:

  • both parents are responsible for the care and welfare of their children until the children reach 18, and
  • there is a presumption that arrangements which involve shared responsibilities and cooperation between the parents are in the best interests of the child.

For more information about  the best interests of the child, equal shared parental responsibility and family dispute resolution, see the Children and family law section on the Attorney-General’s website.