Children and Parenting

The focus of family law is children, their safety and welfare, and what is in their best interests. We understand that your children are your primary concern and that issues regarding their care often need to be dealt with as a matter of urgency. We can advise you on all issues regarding your children, and ensure that all concerns are addressed.

We are able to assist in matters where parents seek to formalise parenting arrangements by way of Consent Orders. In these cases, we can provide the necessary advice to ensure that the parenting arrangements will be acceptable to the Court. In the instance that an agreement is not reached between parents, we can provide advice and representation in the Family Law Courts. These matters can be complex and difficult however, it is our aim to ensure that you are always informed of the process and achieve the best outcome.


What will happen to my children if we separate?

If there are children to a relationship under the age of 18, parenting arrangements will need to be made for their care. There should be proper arrangements made for the care and welfare of the children. We can advise you about parenting arrangements after separation.

If there are children from a prior relationship, are they considered children of my current relationship?

If children were treated as family members prior to separation, then they will continue to be treated as family members. This often includes stepchildren who will be considered when determining parenting arrangements.

What is the difference between parental responsibility and parenting arrangements?

Parental responsibility refers to the responsibilities parents have for their children in relation to short-term and long-term decisions. Short-term decisions consist of day-to-day decisions made with respect to a child’s welfare whilst long-term decisions include education, health and religion.

Parenting arrangements refer to the arrangements that are made in relation to the care of the children. This includes where the children will live, who the children will spend time with and how the children will be supported financially.

What is the difference between a parenting plan and parenting order?

A parenting plan is a written agreement between parents/parties that sets out arrangements with regard to children of a relationship. A parenting plan does not need the approval of the Court and is not legally enforceable.
A parenting Order is an Order made by the Court that sets out arrangements with regard to children of a relationship. The Court must approve the Order and if either party were to breach the Order, then consequences can apply.

Who should I do if I think my children are at risk of harm or abuse?

If you believe that a child is in immediate danger, you should call triple zero as soon as possible. Otherwise, if you believe that a child is subject to harm or at risk of experiencing harm (including neglect), you should call Child Safety Services immediately. Our office can assist you in contacting the appropriate Child Safety Services Office to report any issue with regard to a child safety and welfare.

How do I get care/custody of my children?

It is not always the case where parents are able to agree upon the care arrangements for their children. In these instances, parents can ultimately ask the Court to decide what arrangements should be made.

The Court takes into account a number of factors when making these decisions. The primary considerations of the Court are the safety, welfare, and the best interests of the children.

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