Divorce and Child Custody Lawyers

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Cairns Divorce Lawyers

Divorce and Child Custody Cairns

Child custody arrangements are made separately from your application for divorce. You can make child custody arrangements any time after you separate from your spouse, and before or after the divorce is finalised.

It is important to seek legal advice before you reach an agreement.

See our child custody page for more information.

If your situation is urgent, involves family violence or child abuse (or risk of abuse), you may be able to apply directly to the court without going through mediation. If the other parent refuses to negotiate, you can apply directly to the family law courts and avoid mediation.

Our child custody lawyers in Cairns will be able to ensure you’re given the best guidance and support to provide you and your child with the best outcome. Whether you are seeking shared custody, sole custody or are having difficulty making arrangements with your former partner, we can help.

Contact us now for legal advice and support from one of our family lawyers in Cairns.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Separation and divorce – what’s the difference?

Put simply, separation is when you and your partner stop living together as a ‘couple’. This applies to both married and de facto couples. Divorce is the legal ending of a marriage. To obtain a divorce, a married couple must have been separated for 12 months with no chance of reuniting.

Speak to a divorce lawyer to discuss your circumstances and understand what’s best for you and your family.

What child custody rights apply to de facto partners?

De Facto relationships that include children fall under the same guidance given to married couples, as defined in the Family Law Act. Separated partners can still apply for parenting orders and arrange child support under the Child Support Act.

For more information on Child Custody in Queensland and the process, click here.

Who gets custody of the child in Australia?

Many parents who are separating often want sole custody. However, it is more common for both parents to share equal parenting responsibilities. However, in cases where this presumption is rebuttable, such as irresponsible or harmful conduct by one of the parents towards a child or the other parent, the Court may refuse a parent’s shared responsibility.

What is shared parental responsibility?

Both parents have shared responsibilities regarding children’s matters, playing an equal role in deciding on important aspects of their lives such as health or religion. Only when it is not in the child’s best interests will courts change this presumption.

Will the child’s preferences be considered?

Although there is no need to meet a specific age before a child’s wishes in a custody matter are considered, their emotional maturity is considered. This means the views of older children in their teens will be considered more seriously than young children.

What happens if I want to move town or state?

If you want to move town or state, the other parent must consent to relocating with children. If there is no agreement between you and the other parent, mediation is the next step. If mediation is not successful in reaching an agreement, you will need to file court proceedings. A Court will only deal with a relocation issue (except in urgent circumstances) on a final basis, which means you could wait up to 12 months for a determination.