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Child's best interests and protection from harm

When making orders relating to a child, the court must consider the best interests of the child as the most important consideration.

When making orders relating to a child, the court must consider the best interests of the child as the most important consideration. To determine best interests, the court considers the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents and the need to protect the child from abuse, neglect or family violence.

The Family Law Act 1975 makes it clear that if there is a conflict between the need to protect a child from harm and protecting the child's right to have a meaningful relationship with each parent, their right to protection from harm is more important.

See ss. 60CC(2), s. 60CC(2A)—Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)(opens in a new window).

Updated