Child Custody Lawyers
Children have the right to a meaningful relationship with both parents that is of benefit to the child’s welfare, providing that the relationship is safe and the child is not exposed to or at risk of any form of harm.
Things to consider when making custody and parenting arrangements:
Generally, parents will have equal shared parental responsibility. That is, both parents share decision making for “major long-term issues”, such as education, religion, and health. “Day to day” care decisions, like what your child will wear, are generally made by the parent with the care of the child at the time.
Is equal time an option? Remember to take into account the best interests of your child; any arrangement needs to work for them.
If equal time is impractical, can an arrangement that includes weekdays, weekends and time on special days and during holidays be reached? This will ensure the child can have both parents involved with all aspects of their life.
The ‘right’ care arrangement is what will work best for your children, taking into account the children’s right to be safe and protected from family violence and the right to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. Other considerations include the capacity of each parent to meet their children’s needs, each parent’s attitude towards the children and the other parent, and the children’s wishes.
There is no set age at which a child can make a decision as to their living arrangements. However, their age and maturity, along with the reasons behind their wishes, can influence a decision. For more information please read our article on Parenting Arrangement Myths.
Custody and parenting arrangements can be formalised by either a Parenting Plan or Parenting Orders (which are often made by consent without actually going to Family Court). The former is a written agreement that provides a framework for the parenting arrangement and allows flexibility and communication. On the other hand, Family Court Orders are binding and enforceable (which is useful where communication is difficult), but are also more rigid and difficult to alter later on.
You may also be entitled to receive (or obliged to pay) child support. This is often best dealt with through the Child Support Agency, although private agreements can also be made which may take into account educational expenses. For more information please visit the Department of Human Services website.
Our family law team have helped many people with their custody and parenting arrangements, and it would be their pleasure to assist you. Call today on 1300 205 506 or contact them via email at email@example.com for the highest quality family law advice.
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