Cecil Black Mediation and Family Law Property Settlements Cecil Black Mediation and Family Law Mediation Services

Cecil Black Mediation and Family Law

Cecil Black has sensitively guided local and interstate families through the legal process for more than thirty years.

Property Settlements

Cecil Black can assist you at all stages of obtaining a property settlement.

Cecil Black Mediation and Family Law

Cecil Black has sensitively guided local and interstate families through the legal process for more than thirty years.

Mediation Services

We use creative problem solving in a way that you can reach your own agreement.

Parenting in a Family Law Context (1)

This is the first of a series of posts in relation to parenting issues.

For many people involved in a relationship dispute, the most difficult issue is with whom the children of that relationship will live. For many people who otherwise are able to make meaningful decisions, this task is very difficult.

With whom children will live following a relationship dispute has been an issue that has confronted millions of people for hundreds of years, and I suspect we haven’t seen the last of these sorts of confronting issues. For many people those issues are resolved by tradition, and there is hardly any place for a dispute, so entrenched is the tradition.

The purpose of this particular post is not to look at the traditional background influences in any detail although it is an issue that the Family Law Act (FLA) requires the Courts to take into consideration, namely the right of a child to enjoy his or her Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander culture (including the right to enjoy that culture with other people who share that culture).

The FLA does not distinguish between children whose parents are married or not married.

The “lawful” age for which parenting orders can be made is up to the age of 18 years (ending when the child reaches the age of 18 years), but in practice, orders in respect of children in their mid to late teens are less and less made hence the adage “He (or she is the case may be) will vote with his (or her) feet.” Some parents have difficulty dealing with that concept.

Prior to 1995, the concept of “ownership” of children threatened the way in which most people thought, and could be seen as a driving force behind much of the litigation that then existed. So many people argued against the continued use of the terms then referred to in the FLA, namely:

  • Guardianship;
  • Custody; and
  • Access.

As a consequence, a new image emerged in the amendments made in the Federal Parliament to the FLA in 1995 which came into effect in 1996. The new terms were designed to minimise the concept that children were the possession of their parents, or one of them.

So new statements emerged in the FLA, namely:

  • The allocation of parental responsibility for a child;
  • The person or persons with whom a child is to live; and
  • The time a child is to spend with another person or other persons.

We need to consider who can seek to be involved in the care of a child under the age of 18 years. Clearly the parents of a child fall into that category as do grandparents or other relatives of the child, but also any person concerned with the care, welfare or development of that child. I am not going to go into how wide that definition is except to say that whether a person can seek to be involved with the child is dependent upon the extent of the relationship.

Should you wish to find out more about what I have set out in this post, please contact me on (07) 4723 4601, or send me an email to the address on my website.



Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation”

The contents of this document are not intended to create any legal relationship between the author and the reader.

The material contained herein is designed to provide you (the reader) with some important but general information and should be read in association with legal advice given to you.

You should not rely or act on this information without seeking legal advice specific to your circumstances.




Cecil Black



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