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Best interest of the child

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What sort of things are looked at when deciding which parent it would be best for a child to live with the majority of the time?

Surely it can't just be the mother because she is the mother. And obviously removing a child from their mum full time to say 40 percent of the time would be an upset to start with but if the child was to get used to the new situation quickly it would be good in the long term.

So what things are considered?

The environment?
Money coming into the house?
Relationship with each party?
Whether or not the child is seeing/has a relationship with both sides of their family?

What else? And what should one parent look into changing to help the decision in their favor.

This is about a dad who would like to be considered for majority care (not full) because at the moment the mother has full care and has denied the father any visitation even after a parenting plan was signed by both parties. The child has two siblings that they have never met(or laid eyes on) as well as young cousins. The child has not seen any member of the fathers family for over two years.
The dad is worried that even after going to court the mum will one day go back to stopping him seeing his child. And instead of having to take her to court every time she denies him (which takes lots of time and money) he wants to avoid that by getting the majority of care.
Unlike the mum the dad would incourage the child to have a relationship and spend time with all members of their family both on his and the mums side. The child should be able to spend time with all of their family especially their siblings but the mum doesn't seem to want that.

Also while I'm here can you ask for two decisions to be considered in court or only one? By this I mean say you go in and say you want majority care but the judge says no. Can you then say ok what about 30 percent? Or if your first choice is turned down would you then have to go back and start the whole thing again with the second choice?
Care levels are determined based on what is considered at the time as being in the best interest of the child, not the parents. The courts won't do anything in either parents favour, only in favour of the children
Purpleandyellow said
…would like to be considered for majority care (not full) because at the moment the mother has full care and has denied the father any visitation…
So the wish for majority care is because the mother has denied access? Hardly a compelling case as being in the child's best interest either way.

Why not shared care? why not 50/50? If the father gets "Majority Care" have you considered what impact will that have on the child in seeing his/her mother less?

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant."

 
Willfred said
Care levels are determined based on what is considered at the time as being in the best interest of the child, not the parents. The courts won't do anything in either parents favour, only in favour of the children
Purpleandyellow said
…would like to be considered for majority care (not full) because at the moment the mother has full care and has denied the father any visitation…
So the wish for majority care is because the mother has denied access? Hardly a compelling case as being in the child's best interest either way.

Why not shared care? why not 50/50? If the father gets "Majority Care" have you considered what impact will that have on the child in seeing his/her mother less?

The desire for majority care is based on the fact that the mum is most likely going to continue to deny the father any relationship with the child (as well as the child's siblings, grandparents and other family members) where as if the child was to be with the father then the father would make sure that the child would have an equal relationship with both parents and all family members.

Whatever the outcome is it will affect the child but the father is thinking of the future not just the few months after the decision.

50/50 may work but so many people have said that that is less good for a child. Especially if there is a distance between where the parents live.

It may sound like the father just wants the child to spite the mum for what she has done but that is not the case. If for example the father had majority care and one day the child said "can I go see mum?" Then the dad would try to organize that for the child.

It is very likely that if the mother continues to have the majority care that the father would only see the child every few months because the mum will eventually try to use the child as a power play as she is currently doing, and going to court to fix this isn't always quick and easy. And then what kind of relationship would that leave the child with in regards to their father?

The biggest issue the father has is that the mum has denied the child a relationship with their younger siblings. One would think that all children involved in this type of situation would be seen as the victims/innocents and therefore if the fathers children from his new relationship are being affected it would impact any decision.

I do understand and agree with you to a point. Just wanted to say that the father is thinking about the future. Like the next few years.
Willfred said
Care levels are determined based on what is considered at the time as being in the best interest of the child, not the parents. The courts won't do anything in either parents favour, only in favour of the children
  In my experience, this is not exactly accurate..
The current system seems to lean heavily in the mothers favour and only IF the mother can be demonstrated to be unfit (drugs, alcohol, abuse etc) and that the child may be in danger, THEN the father gets a look in.

I defy ANYONE to prove to me that the courts start from a 50/50 share arrangement, then adjust based on "what's best for the child"
The assumption is that being with the mother and occasional contact with the father is in the best interests of the child and is used as the starting point

The onus falls to the father to prove otherwise.
There is no burden of proof on the mother.
Why wait a few years if it's happening now?
purpleandyellow said
…just wanted to say that the father is thinking about the future. Like the next few years. …
I'd suggest if you leave it for a few years anything near majority care shared care will be even less likely. It would be a bold magistrate who would after a few years turn a child life on it's head and remove a child simple because a father if aggrieved (justifiably let me add) because of the (not uncommon) behaviour of the mother.

Also consider that in a few years with no contact with the father will the child be likely to want to move back with him? I sadly doubt it.

Get on the front foot, pursue mediation & orders and use other means to stay in touch with the child - write letters - simple ones, send photos, recount memories & tell the child you love them.

Do remember, however, and this what "WhatBus" refers to the courts are not black & white & often one party will not get what they want, expect or indeed what is fair.

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant."

 
Willfred said
Why wait a few years if it's happening now?
purpleandyellow said
…just wanted to say that the father is thinking about the future. Like the next few years. …
I'd suggest if you leave it for a few years anything near majority care shared care will be even less likely. It would be a bold magistrate who would after a few years turn a child life on it's head and remove a child simple because a father if aggrieved (justifiably let me add) because of the (not uncommon) behaviour of the mother.

Also consider that in a few years with no contact with the father will the child be likely to want to move back with him? I sadly doubt it.

Get on the front foot, pursue mediation & orders and use other means to stay in touch with the child - write letters - simple ones, send photos, recount memories & tell the child you love them.

Do remember, however, and this what "WhatBus" refers to the courts are not black & white & often one party will not get what they want, expect or indeed what is fair.

You seem to have misunderstood me. I was not saying that the father wants to wait a few years before attempting to see his child. He is starting everything now.

I was saying that he was thinking about what is best for the child in a few years. Obviously now it would not be in the best interest of the child to be given to the father after being with the mum for so long. But after the child was to get use to the new situation it would be the best for the child as the child would get the relationship with both parents (and other family members) that they deserve. As I said before the father would try to make sure the mum had as much access to the child as both she and the child wanted because the father wants what is best for the child in the long run.

Does that make more sense??

As for mediation the father did go to mediation and a parenting agreement was made but after only four visits with the child the mum stopped the visits and went against the parenting order.

Hope I've cleared up the "years" thing.

p.s sorry if my posts are too emotional. This is happening to a family member of mine and whole I came on her to get some facts to help them it is out not to get emotional when I feel so strongly. I feel bad and sad for the child who is missing out on so much love.

whatbus said
I defy ANYONE to prove to me that the courts start from a 50/50 share arrangement, then adjust based on "what's best for the child"
The assumption is that being with the mother and occasional contact with the father is in the best interests of the child and is used as the starting point
How much case law have you actually read? How many cases have you seen? Try reading 60CC - if the Court does not consider equal or substantial time you then have an appealable decision
whatbus said
The onus falls to the father to prove otherwise.
The onus falls on the parent who wants more time to prove why it is BIC. The fact is that that after separation most Mothers already have the most time but this is not always the case.
whatbus said
There is no burden of proof on the mother.
 The burden of proof lies with the applicant not the respondent
Conan,

I think you've supported my comments.
Thank you
whatbus said
Conan,

I think you've supported my comments.
Thank you
  On the contrary - because your initial comments were incorrect. The Courts have to start out considering 'equal' time. Loss of 50/50 is usually based on practical considerations. Read some case law - you might be surprised at the number of equal or near equal time decisions that are made.
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