How is the issue of Access determined?
- The Court will award care and control based on the principle that the welfare of the child is the paramount (i.e. most important) consideration.
- The Court may also take into consideration the child’s wishes.
- The objective and purpose of awarding access to the parent who does not have care and control of the child is to ensure that the parent still has sufficiently regular contact and adequate opportunities to develop and maintain a good parent-child relationship with the child and so that the child is not deprived of contact with either parent.
- The Court may restrict or deny access to a parent if it is not in the best interests of the child’s welfare.
- Here are some general observations and examples of what the Court considers in deciding which parent should be awarded with access:
- The terms of access should be fair to all parties as much as possible. For example, this recognises that the parent without care and control of the child will already be deprived of a substantial amount of contact with the child because the child does not reside with that parent.
- Parents should discuss and agree (and compromise, if necessary) on an arrangement for access based on what is fair, reasonable and logistically feasible (e.g. weekday access, weeknight access, weekend access, overnight access, overseas access, public / school holiday access, supervised access, unsupervised access).
- If the parents are unable to agree on the terms of access, the Court will decide after considering the parents’ respective reasons.