Article | Last updated: 27/01/2015 | Ministry of Children and Families
Out of regard for the child, it is important that the parents focus on the child’s needs and cooperate on parenting.
The best interests of the child must play a decisive role in agreements and decisions concerning parental responsibility, where the child is to live permanently and contact arrangements. The best interests of the child in any individual case must be decided on the basis of an assessment of the case in question.
Research shows that a prolonged high level of conflict in the home may be harmful for children. Parents who do not live together must make their own written agreements concerning children in common. The Family Counselling Service may assist in drafting and amending such agreements, and provide guidance and support for parents who need to strengthen their parental cooperation.
Parents who fail to reach agreement on parental responsibility, international relocation, custody (the child's place of residence), or access may bring legal action. Parents must attend mediation before bringing such an action. The purpose of the mediation is to help them to reach an agreement concerning the child.