One of the subjects that a family lawyer will be most asked about will come from mothers enquiring what their rights are regarding their children should she and the child’s father be going through a divorce. Often these questions come from the mother wrongly believing that she has more parental rights than the father.
It usually comes as a surprise to learn that far from the mother being the one who has sole responsibility for her children, that, instead, both she and the children’s father have joint parental responsibility. This was introduced in 1975 by legislation called the Family Law Act. This brought into the arena of parents. Children and divorce are the principle of equal rights for both parents.
It would seem this was a curtailment of the assumption that mothers would automatically be granted custody of a child, and with control came their right to choose and make decisions that affected that child. The Family Law Act did not remove that entirely but instead moved it to where both parents had those rights jointly.