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QLD Stepfather's Parental Responsibility under Family Law?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Sundowner, 21 September 2015.

  1. Sundowner

    Sundowner Member

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    Hi
    Here's some background

    I am an Australian citizen by birth, 1967, but lived in the UK from Dec 1974 to Oct 2013 . While in the UK, I married an Englishman and had two children.... We married in 1990, he had an affair and left 2006.... Children were aged 2.5yrs and 12 weeks old when he left.... He had regular contact with them since the divorce absolute in 2007.

    I met A in 2007 (children's now stepdad) and we cohabited since 2009 and married in the UK in March 2013.. He is an Englishman......

    I applied to the UK court and was granted leave of jurisdiction from the court of England and Wales to permanently remove the children from the UK and reside in Australia.. I am an Ausralian citizen by birth, and the children are Australian citizens by decent and the stepfather is a permanent resident in Australia ...

    I do not have any Mirror orders in any Aussie courts... I have a UK contact order that states alternate contact until the youngest is 16, one year UK, one year Australia... At present that is working and contact is not an issue nor are communications with their biological father ....

    My question is one of parental responsibility..... No one can force the future.... What if .... I died? Could my ex husband their biological, father jump on a plane knock on my husband's door (their step dad) and say, "right Mum's dead, they have to live with me now in England" with no thought to the children's lives here in Aus and the fact that their stepdad intends to and poses as their dad in the truest sense of the word for over 8 years?

    Can their step dad have some parental responsibility alongside me under Family Law?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Step-parents do not share in parental responsibility under any legal presumption, meaning it can only be bestowed upon a person other than a parent by order of the court.

    If the circumstance you've described were to eventuate, the father would be at liberty to collect the children and relocate them to the United Kingdom. Likewise, the step-father could apply for parenting orders through the court in pursuit of shared parental responsibility with the biological father, and the biological father would be at liberty to contest the application.

    There was a case recently between a father and a step-father that canvassed very similar circumstances, except one party was in Victoria and the other party in the Australian Capital Territory. Have a read of how the court handled it here: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCCA/2015/1716.html
     
    Sophea likes this.
  3. Sundowner

    Sundowner Member

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    Thankyou for this information . Much appreciated . I thought there would be grounds for A their stepfather to request a parenting order and seek shared parental responsibility . .... I have read the case file you referred me to...

    One thing that over arches is that A has co parented with me since the children were aged three and a half and 18 months old and for the past two years. It has been just A and I and the two children and once a week the children speak to their biological father on Facebook and every year they spend three weeks annually with their biological father so in terms of regular influence it's more their step father than their biological especially as they are settled in Aus but at least the judge would consider joint roles rather than just wiping them away ... Let's hope I live long thanks
     

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