• Legislation

Infants' Custody and Settlement Ordinance 1956


The Infants’ Custody and Settlement Ordinance 1956 (Act no. 2/1956) was Commonwealth legislation that applied in the ACT, repealing the Infants Custody and Settlements Act of 1899 (NSW) on 1 March 1956. This Ordinance was repealed by the Infants Custody and Settlements (Repeal) Act 1995 (ACT) on 19 June 1995. This ordinance became an ACT Act on 11 May 1989.

According to the Ordinance a court could, upon the application of a parent, make such orders as it thought fit regarding the custody of the infant. Where the court was of the opinion that a parent had abandoned, neglected or deserted an infant; or conducted himself/herself in a manner by which custody should be refused; or the tender age of the infant of his/her state of health rendered it expedient that he/she should remain with his/her mother or some other person then a court could decline application for custody.

Where a parent was believed to have abandoned, deserted or neglected an infant, the parent would have to satisfy the court that he/she was a fit person to have custody. Where the court was satisfied that a person with custody was unfit to continue because of cruelty or neglect, a court could order the infant be given up to the custody of another.

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