The weight and responsibility of deciding parenting arrangements are not lost on the court. In addition to seeing the child’s best interests, the Australian Family Court examines any risk factors in the child’s life, such as abuse, violence, or harm.
The court operates on the belief that children benefit from their parents sharing responsibilities. However, the court may opt to give responsibility to one parent if there is evidence of abuse, neglect, physical violence, or harm. These are reasons to deny shared parenting as it is not in the child’s best interest.
The Family Court is interested in the child’s wishes. These will increase in weight as the child grows older.