Child custody and parenting issues can be very stressful, even without considering the legal issues.
If you have separated – or are about to – it’s important to get legal advice as early as possible about your children’s living arrangements and child support. You can make child custody arrangements any time after you separate from your partner (and before or after divorce).
Parents can sometimes reach an agreement between themselves about their kids, but it’s important to know where you stand legally before making or seeking formal agreement through the courts.
Our family lawyers in Cairns are here to offer their services to help you reach a positive outcome in the best interests of your children. Contact our office for a confidential, obligation-free consultation with one of our family lawyers.
There is no presumption that the children must spend equal time with both parents. When making decisions about children, the most important thing that matters is that the parents focus on the child’s best interests.
No. We usually recommend mediation as the first step in trying to reach an agreement, as it gives both parties the opportunity to voice what they want and reach an outcome they are happy with. If an outcome cannot be reached through mediation and it goes to court, a judge will make a decision which is imposed on the parties. A mediator will help you reach a solution that works for you both and if both parties want to you can then make it into a legally binding agreement.
Although a child’s views are not a primary consideration, under the Family Law Act, a child’s views are one of the additional factors that a court will consider in parenting matters. The court will decide how much weight it places on the child’s view based on an assessment of the child’s maturity, their level of understanding and any other relevant factors.
You do not need to formalise your parenting arrangements after you have separated. However, people often do for many different reasons, including to reduce future disagreement about the parenting arrangements. You can formalize parenting arrangements through either a parenting plan or parenting order. A parenting plan is not legally binding, it is a signed and dated written record of an agreement between both parents about parenting arrangements. Parenting orders can either be made by way of an Application for Consent Orders (the parties are not required to attend Court) or through Court proceedings.
Most matters are resolved by the parties negotiating and reaching an agreement, without the need for Court proceedings. Court can usually be avoided if the parents genuinely try to resolve any issues regarding the parenting arrangements and if both parties are willing to compromise.
Fill out the form below and we will call you back to organise a meeting with your own Lawyer.