The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.P.17 Parental responsibility


For the purposes of FA and the SSAct, and Family Law Act 1975 section 61B, parental responsibility means all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that parents have, by law, in relation to their children.

According to the Family Law Act section 61C, both parents of a child aged less than 18 years, have parental responsibility (subject to court orders) for their child. This responsibility continues, despite any changes in the nature of the parental relationship of a child (that is parental responsibility will not change if a child's parents become separated, or if one or both parents remarry).

A parenting order in relation to a child does not take away or diminish any aspect of the parental responsibility of any person for the child except to the extent (if any) expressly provided for in the order; or necessary to give effect to the order.

Act reference: Family Law Act 1975 section 61B Meaning of parental responsibility, section 61C Each parent has parental responsibility (subject to court orders)

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