Each individual case is assessed on its merits, and the fact that a parent seeking orders for a child to live with them where they are living in a homosexual relationship or in some alternative lifestyle is not directly relevant. What is relevant is the whole environment and the effect it will have on the child. Factors such as the personality and attitudes of the parties involved in the relationship or lifestyle, the strength of the relationship and the effect the relationship will have on the child will all be considered.
In a Family Court judgment in the case of Schmidt (1979) FLC 90-685, which considered the question of homosexual relationships, Chief Justice Evatt said:
'the ordinary observations of life would lead me to the view that one lesbian relationship could not necessarily be judged by another ... It could be a mistake to regard a person's sexual proclivities as the dominating trait of their personality as if it were something which occupied their sole attention and thoughts. The difficult task always confronting the Family Court is that of searching for the quality of a relationship and in assessing the personality and character of the persons concerned in access and custody matters.'
In determining what is in the best interests of the child the Family Law Courts view homosexual relationships in the same light as heterosexual relationships.