Parenting Orders Made For Children To Reside With Another Person Who Is Not A Parent

In the decision of the High Court in Bondelmonte v Bondelmonte in April 2018 the Judges considered whether or not the Family Court could make a parenting order for children to live with a person who was not the parent of the children and when the person had not made an application to the Court and was not part of the court proceedings.  

65C of the Family Law Act refers to a person’s standing to make an application to the Court for parenting orders in respect of a child and this includes a child’s parents or the child or a grandparent or any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child.  In this case the other persons had not made an application to the Court. 64C of the Family Law Act provides that a parenting order may be made in favour of a parent of the child “or some other person”.  The High Court determined that although the other person had not made an application to the Court for parenting orders and was not a party in the court proceedings, the other person was however a person in whose favour parenting orders could be made on the application of a parent (in this case the mother who was a party in the court proceedings had made the application to the Court).

The High Court considered that the person was not a stranger because the Court had evidence that the person was the mother of a longstanding friend of the 2 male children and the Court had undertakings from that person to offer “nurturing and care” and to implement arrangements for monitoring homework and transport to and from school respectively of the 2 children.  The High Court considered that more information would be desirable before making a long term parenting order in favour of such third party person but because of the urgency in that case the Court was satisfied.

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