Family Law Courts: here to help… but not that much?

There has been much discussion over recent months in relation to the depths of involvement the Family Law Courts are being asked to take in litigation of family law proceedings.

A father, with equal shared parental responsibility, filed an application before the Federal Circuit Court seeking orders the mother of their child ensures that the child does her homework.

What makes the situation even more concerning is the parents were together for a period of only two years until they separated back in 2001 (when their daughter was only eight months old) and they had been battling in the courts since 2003.

Back then, in 2003, the Family Court made orders dealing with their daughter’s surname, where she should live and how much time each parent should spend with her. Then again, in 2007, the parents came back seeking further orders granting a more equal division of time with each of them. Between those hearings, interim applications continued to be filed with orders made along the way.

The court appointed family consultant (who interviewed the parents in 2010) found they had a “very poor parenting relationship…resistant to change”. As family lawyers we see, time and time again, a lack of communication between parents means they are asking the family law courts to effectively micromanage their roles as parents, asking the court to become involved in the daily life of a child, which is not what the court wants (or is prepared) to do.

In this case, the judge refused to make such an order, saying he believed it would be “unenforceable” as it “involves an undesirable micromanaging…in the performance of their role as parents.”

In considering the time, emotional toll, financial burden and, most importantly, the effect of these ongoing disputes between parents on their children, family law solicitors, like ourselves, continue to provide guidance and advice in relation to the role and function of the family law courts, which is designed to be a last resort, rather than a mechanism, for managing the day to day aspects of a child’s life.

For help contact our Family Law team on 1800 600 664 or send us an email at

At Taylor & Scott “ We Care For You.”

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