What if I’m worried about my child’s safety when they’re with my partner?
Keep your child safe when there is a parenting agreement
If you have a or that deals with and , you have to do what it says. Or, you have to apply to the court to change the order. Decision-making responsibility and parenting time used to be called and .
The court uses a legal test called the to make decisions about a child after their parents separate.
In general, the law assumes that it is usually better for a child to have a relationship with each parent after separation and to spend as much time as possible with each parent as would be in the child's best interests.
When there is a history of partner abuse, you need to tell the court if you have specific concerns about your child's safety that make it reasonable for you to want to limit their contact with your partner.
There may be steps you can take if:
- your partner is not following a court order, or
- your partner is not following a separation agreement
In some cases, the police might be able to make your partner do what your order says. But the police can only help with some types of orders.
For example, the police might help return your child to your home if your partner refuses to return the child after parenting time. But the police can't force your partner to phone your home to speak to your child, even if the court order says your partner will call your home to keep in touch with your child.
Some police will only help if your court order specifically says that the police must help with that part of the order.
A safety plan can also help to keep your child safe.