For the purposes of FTB, a custody order is a document issued by the Family Court of Australia before the changes in 1996 which sets out the terms and conditions of who has custody of a child. Custody is defined in the Family Law Act 1975 as being:
Custody orders were issued by the Family Law Court before 11 June 1996, and are still valid despite the reforms to the Family Law Act. From June 1996, custody orders were replaced by registered parenting plans (1.1.P.21) or parenting orders (1.1.P.19). From 2003 the requirement to register parenting plans was removed.
A person who has custody of a child is taken to have legal responsibility (1.1.L.20) for the child.
If the court order does not assign custody to a particular person, it can be deemed that both parents have joint legal responsibility.
Variations to an original court order can be made as separate orders in addition to the original, or may replace the original. Unless the new order replaces all previous orders, all of the orders should be obtained and read in conjunction with each other.
Act reference: FAAct section 22 When an individual is an FTB child of another individual
Policy reference: FA Guide 18.104.22.168 Shared Care & Change of Care Summary
Last reviewed: 6 April 2009