VIC Custody of Children - Single Mother's Rights?

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31 July 2015
Situation is as follows:

The mother has been sole carer for daughter her entire life. The father's last supervised visit was in a clinic at 8 months (6 months corrective) age and the visits stopped because father wouldn't attend after requesting the visits initially.

The child is almost 7 now. Does the mother have any rights to gain full custody of children, without the father being involved as the well being of the child is at risk if provoked? The father has never paid child support on request for child's and mother's safety and well being.

Can the father just choose to make himself known to the child? Is there any rights the mother has to stop him?

No legal family court orders were ever put in place. It was also not an amicable separation between mother and father (domestic situation).


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
Under the Family Law Act 1975, mothers and fathers don't have any rights, only children do. Section 60B stipulates that a child has a legal right to know, spend time and communicate with both parents on a regular basis, regardless of the nature of relationship between said parents, so no, you have no rights to stop the child from having a relationship with his father. Doing so would fundamentally be a violation of the child's rights.

In relation to gaining 'full custody' without involvement of the father, this is also not an option, because the Family Law Act 1975 stipulates a presumption that both parents share equally in parental responsibility. Equal shared parental responsibility cannot be removed from either parent except by order of the court, and it's a mandatory requirement in proceedings that the father be served with the initiating application for any parenting orders you wish to pursue so that he may have the chance to respond with other parenting orders.

Am I right in deducing that you and the father have not communicated for about six years?