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Parenting & Child Custody

Our Family Law Team assists parents every day in the complex and often emotional area of child custody/parenting arrangements. Where a dispute has occurred, we can guide and advise you to help expedite a resolution and ensure that your children’s interests are taken care of.

At CLW, we can assist you in reaching an agreement on the following matters:

  • Who will make decisions about your child’s welfare;
  • Who your child will spend time with, for what length of time and on what basis;
  • Where your child will attend school;
  • What name your child will be known by; and
  • Christmas, birthdays, holidays and overseas travel arrangements.

There are various courses of action that may be available to you including mediation. Where possible, we seek to achieve a satisfactory solution without the need for litigation. We can assist you by recommending appropriate counselling and mediation services.

If litigation is necessary, we will act for you in all proceedings, drawing on our considerable expertise in this area to work towards the outcome you feel is in the best interests of your children.

Even if you have already reached an agreement, we can assist you in making sure that your agreement is properly recorded so that you can rely on it into the future.

Contact a member of our Family Law Team for insightful guidance in all aspects relating to Children’s Issues and Family Law.

Equal Shared Parental Responsibility

In most cases, the Court presumes that both parents will share parental responsibility for the children. This means both parents are jointly involved and must consult each other when making any major or long-term decisions affecting the child. Examples of such decisions include what school the child should attend or what medical treatment the child should receive.

However, in some exceptional circumstances, the court will grant sole parental responsibility to one parent. This is often the case where there is evidence of child abuse or family violence.

The Best Interests of the Child

In family law matters, ensuring that the best interests of the children are met is the primary consideration. Our family lawyers will always have regard for the children’s best interests when determining the most appropriate parenting arrangement for your family.

When considering what is in the child or children’s best interests, we are required to consider the following factors:

  • The need for the children to develop a meaningful relationship with both parents;
  • The need to protect the children from any harm or family violence;
  • The views expressed by the child (depending on their age and maturity);
  • The willingness of parents to encourage a relationship between their child and the other parent;
  • The capacity of the parents to provide for the children’s needs; and
  • Any other factor the court deems relevant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply for parenting orders for my grandchildren?

Yes. Parents are not the only persons who can apply for parenting orders. The Court permits any person concerned with the welfare of the children to make a parenting application – this includes parents, grandparents, other relatives and carers.

I am concerned that my partner is going to take the children overseas, what can I do?

If you are concerned that your children may be taken overseas without your consent, our family lawyers can place your partner and the children on the ‘airport watch list’. This means that, in the event that your former partner attempts to remove the children from Australia, the Australian Federal Police will be notified and the children will be prevented from leaving the country.

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