A member asked over 7 years ago

Custody of my daughter

I divorced 10 years ago due to discrimination and religion.
We married and had a daughter in Vietnam in 2000. To avoid my wife's family's threats of killing, we had to stay in Vietnam. After our daughter was born, my ex-wife tried go back to her Muslim family in Perth and be accepted again if I agreed to convert to be a muslim. I was a sponsored immigrant to Australia. Then there was lots of troubles lead us to be separated.
My daughter has a muslim name without my surname for 10 years. My daughter is living with my ex-wife. She is married again and has 3 other kids. Now my daughter wants to move to live with me in Sydney. She is 15 years old now. What should I do?

Law Advisor Research Team
Researchers at LawAdvisor

Hi there. Under Australian law, each parent has parental responsibilities for their children until they reach 18 years old. This means you have a legal right and responsibility to be involved in the parenting arrangements for your child until this age.

The law say that you must try to agree on parenting arrangements with your ex-wife. You should try negotiating a new parenting plan for your daughter with your ex-wife, either informally or via a family dispute resolution service provided by the Australian Government (www.familyrelationships.gov.au).

If, and only if, these measures are unsuccessful, you can apply to the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court for a parenting order. A parenting order sets out the parenting arrangements for your child, such as who the child will live with, how much time they will spend with each parent, the allocation of parental responsibility, how the child will communicate with each parent, and any other aspect of the child’s care and wellbeing. In making a parenting order, the court must be satisfied that the order is in the best interests of the child.

If your daughter is mature enough to express her own opinions about her living situation, she will be given an opportunity to present her views to the court. An Independent Children’s Lawyer may be appointed by the court to ensure her views are properly represented in the proceedings.

A parenting order is legally binding, which means that both parents must comply with any conditions in the order, otherwise penalties may apply.

Suggested way forward

You should consider negotiating a new parenting arrangement with your ex-wife and daughter, either directly or through a dispute resolution service. If this is unsuccessful, you can apply to court for formal parenting orders. You should consider speaking to a family lawyer who can advise you on the best course of action. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.

Answered over 7 years ago   Legal disclaimer


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