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At Cudmore Legal, we understand the complexities and emotional challenges involved in family law, especially concerning parents’ rights to see their children post-separation or divorce. Australian family law has recently undergone significant amendments, particularly in relation to the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility. This blog post aims to provide insights into these changes and what they mean for families navigating visitation and custody. 

The Legal Framework and Recent Amendments 

The Family Law Act 1975, which governs child custody and visitation rights in Australia, has always prioritized the child’s best interests. A landmark reform passed in October 2023 has brought significant changes, notably repealing the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility. This shift emphasizes a more tailored approach to each family’s circumstances, moving away from a one-size-fits-all presumption. 

Visitation Rights 

Visitation rights, crucial for maintaining a meaningful relationship between the child and both parents, are now more closely scrutinized to align with the best interests of the child. These rights are not absolute and are subject to various factors, including the child’s safety and welfare. 

Denying Access 

Denying a parent access to their child without lawful grounds can lead to legal challenges. It’s important for parents to understand that such actions must be justifiable under the law, especially with the recent amendments emphasizing individual case assessment. 

Negotiating Visitation Arrangements 

Parents are encouraged to negotiate visitation arrangements amicably, with family dispute resolution services playing a key role. If an agreement cannot be reached, court intervention may be necessary, where the revised legal framework will guide decision-making. 

Court Considerations 

Courts now consider a range of factors, including the recent amendments, when determining visitation rights. The focus remains on the child’s best interests, with considerations including the child’s relationship with each parent and any history of family violence or abuse. 


The recent changes to the Family Law Act reflect a more nuanced approach to family law, focusing on the specific needs and best interests of each child. At Cudmore Legal, we are committed to guiding parents through these changes, ensuring that the rights and welfare of the child remain paramount. For personalized advice and support, contact our experienced family law team. 

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