Parenting Orders and Best Interests

When making a parenting order, the most important consideration is what is in the child’s best interests. The Family Law Act and the Family Court Act (WA) set out how the court determines what is in the child’s best interests.

To determine the child’s best interests, the primary considerations that the court will take into account are:

  • the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents; and
  • the need to protect the child from physical and psychological harm.

If there is conflict between these two considerations, safety comes first.

There are other considerations that may be taken into account such as children’s wishes, maturity of the children, parenting capacity and cultural heritage.