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Does the "primary carer" get more custody because our youngest is 2 years old

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Just separated - currently living in "in house" separation.

My wife wants to separate and suggests that she will be given primary custody of our children because our youngest has just turned 2 (the other 2 children are 8 and 10). I don't want to separate, but I want to have as much custody as possible - preferably 50/50 so that I can stay equally in their lives.

I cannot find whether the law gives preference to the "primary care giver" due to age. I would be the primary care giver if I could be. I will quit my job if I have to or change my hours. I just want to be with my children.

I am a good father and I want to be in their lives as much as possible. My "wife" suggests that her "sister said" the courts find in favour of the mother if the child is under 4 - is this the case. Can someone please tell what the law is on this situation?

There is no issues of "abuse" or "threat" with either party so those considerations that I found wouldn't apply - where is this information? Sorry if this is the wrong forum for this question, I just don't know where to go. Please help. [name withheld on validation]


Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

Creating an account on the site and posting through that would enable more personal help and support from site members.

A lot more review of forums on the site and doing searches on terms like 'custody' 'separating' or 'young children' or 'babies'  will give you a wealth of information. 'Custody' is a word generally not used any longer for what its worth. There are many issues to deal with, including the magic question of who is moving where, or are you staying in the one dwelling. The older children will be easier to get involved in and set out a shared care arrangement, than the two-year-old. Much research seems to indicate at that age frequent, regular contacts are required with both parents. This approach is often difficult to turn into an agreement if one parent does not agree. The courts also seem to have a view on what is regular and frequent contact that is often far less real time than some parents want.

Working out a plan with your wife that covers all of the important issues as to how the separation will work in reality is the first step. There will be much to deal with in relation to schools, sports and the like as well as the difficulty of financing the current life style you are probably accustomed to. It is far harder to operate financially when separated because as soon as one parent claims Centrelink benefits the other will be approached for the vexed interest of child support until the youngest turns 18 and beyond on an application.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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