A priority for separating parents is making suitable arrangements for the children. We can provide early assistance in this area, which may involve referring you to organisations which provide help to separating families.
“Best Interests of the Child”
Children are the most important first consideration in any separation. This view is mirrored in the family law legislation, which provides that arrangements between parties for children, be made in the “best interests of the child”.
Each family arrangement will be different and therefore what is in the best interests of the child or children, will be different in every case.
What time each parent will spend with the children, is an important consideration. There are no ‘minimum’ requirements. Please call us for more detailed advice in relation to this issue.
Parenting orders, like property orders, are court orders, that are formal and enforceable. Such orders can be negotiated between parties, or can be the result of litigation through the courts.
Parenting orders may not be needed in every case. Many separating families arrive at their own arrangements, which work well when parties are amicable and the lines of communication are open.
In some instances, separations are not so amicable and children are ‘caught’ in the middle.
Our family lawyers are available to provide valuable assistance to enable parties to work through difficult situations and arrive at parenting agreements that can be considered in the best interests of the children.
Sometimes families will be experiencing violence or the children might have complex needs or there are other, significant factors to be considered in the arrangements following separation.
Sometimes, parties may have few options and may have to resort to obtaining the assistance of the courts. If this is the case, our family lawyers will ensure you are guided every step of the way and obtain the help you need.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have urgent questions about parenting matters, family violence and children. All contact is confidential and obligation-free.
In some families, extended family members are heavily involved in the caring of children. If you are a grandparent, you may have an interest that will be recognised as relevant to the best interests of the children. Each case will be different. Please call our office if you have questions about your future role in a separation of related family members.
In relation to child support, there are a number of factors to be considered following separation where children are involved and where the children spend more time with one party.
Child support is governed by a separate act of legislation. We are happy to explain the various elements considered in relation to child support payments in more detail.
Child Support Agreements
If you wish to pursue an agreement with your ex-partner in relation to ongoing payments associated with the children, such as school fees, dentistry and orthodontics, holidays and the like, we can provide advice on negotiating a binding child support agreement.
If you require assistance, our lawyers are happy to help.
Please call our office on (03) 9379 0877, to book a no-cost 30-minute consultation. We are here to answer your questions – in plain English – and give you guidance on ‘where to next’.
Please note – information given above is ‘general in nature’ only and you should seek legal advice in relation to your particular circumstances before acting.