Children can sometimes be the main casualties following the breakdown of a relationship if parenting arrangements are not handled with care and sensitivity.
The statistics show that many parents are able to reach informal parenting arrangements for their children without the intervention of lawyers or the court. However, some parents prefer to have the certainty and security of formal orders, whether by agreement (called consent orders) or decided by a judge. At Taylor & Scott, our family lawyers can advise you on all aspects of children and parenting matters.
Parenting orders can be as simple or as detailed as the parents and their children require. However, the court can only make orders if they are in the “best interests” of the children. What is in the best interests of the children will depend on their individual circumstances. When determining the best interests of the children, the primary considerations are:
- The benefit for children of having a meaningful relationship with both parents; and
- Protecting the children from harm or being exposed to family violence.
Whether you are able to reach agreement or you need a judge to make a decision for you, in accordance with the Family Law Act, there are two pillars to consider in parenting matters:
- Parental responsibility: This relates to the decision making powers regarding long-term issues for the children, such as their education, health and religion.
- Living and time arrangements (previously called “child custody”): This relates to the time the children will spend with or communicate with each parent.
In addition to the two key pillars of the Family Law Act, our family lawyers can also give specialised advice on the following:
- Grandparents and their relationship with their grandchildren
- Overseas travel and passport issues
- Amending or discharging existing parenting orders
- Child abduction or Hague convention matters
- Family or domestic violence issues
- Relocation (interstate or overseas)
We have dealt with all facets of parenting matters over our longstanding history, from the most amicable of matters to the most complex of disputes that require investigation, expert opinion and judicial decision.
Before parties can commence any parenting proceedings, they are required to first attempt Family Dispute Resolution (“FDR”) with an accredited mediator. There are exceptions to the FDR requirement, including where there is a risk to the child or there has been family violence. At Taylor & Scott we can refer you to a suitable mediator or advise you on whether you may fall under one of the exceptions.
At Taylor & Scott, our family lawyers are experienced and skilled in guiding clients towards the ultimate goal of achieving orders, whether by agreement or after a hearing before a judge. Each family is different and we aim to achieve the best outcome for you and your children.
If you or someone you know needs expert advice from our specialist team of family lawyers, phone us on 1800 600 664 or complete the contact form on this page.
At Taylor & Scott “We Care For You”.