Child Custody Myths You Need To Stop Believing

There are several child custody myths that cause a great deal of confusion and undue worry for separating parents. Here are our top 5 child custody myths we wanted to debunk for you once and for all.

1. “The Courts will always favour the mother”

Untrue. A parent does not have legal “custody” over their children in Australia. There is no legal presumption that a child must or should live with the Mother over the Father. Rather, the courts will always look at what is in the child’s best interest (being the paramount consideration).

Stay tuned for next week’s article, where we look at the next five most common family law myths circulating.

2. “A Parenting Plan is enforceable”

Untrue. A parenting plan is not a legally enforceable agreement. It is different from a parenting order, which is made by a court.

Although not legally binding, Parenting Plans recognised by the Family Law Act 1975 can be used as evidence in Court.

3. “I don’t need the other parents’ consent to move interstate permanently with my child.”

Untrue. If you wish to relocate, you need to speak to the child’s other parent and receive permission.

Related Article: Relocating With Your Child After Separation Or Divorce

4. “Our child gets to decide who they want to live with when they turn 12”

Untrue. There is no law that says once a child turns 12 they get to decide their parenting arrangements. In fact, in Australia there is no minimum age for a child to be able to express their view about where they would like to live in a parenting dispute. The courts, as with all family dispute cases involving children will look at the “best interest of the child”.

Related Article: When can my child decide who they want to live with?

5. “There is nothing I can do about my ex-partner bad mouthing about me in front of the children.”

Untrue. You are able to obtain an Order that prevent a person from denigrating or insulting you in the hearing and or presence of the children.

Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email


Back To All Posts