Children

Parenting Arrangements

After the breakdown of a relationship involving children (whether a marriage, de facto or same sex relationship) it will be necessary to consider the appropriate arrangements for the ongoing care of the children.

With appropriate advice, it is often possible for parents to reach their own agreement on these issues, which involve decisions as to where a child will primarily live and the time they spend with the parent they do not live with. Agreement can also be reached regarding specific issues, such as education and medical matters.

Where parents are unable to agree on the arrangements for their children, court proceedings may become necessary. In either case, it is the obligation of the parties and the Court to consider the best interests of the children.

There are no hard and fast rules about the time that children should live with or spend time with either parent. The parent with whom the child lives and the amount of time the child spends with the other parent will depend on a number of factors including:

  • With appropriate advice, it is often possible for parents to reach their own agreement on these issues, which involve decisions as to where a child will primarily live and the time they spend with the parent they do not live with. Agreement can also be reached regarding specific issues, such as education and medical matters.
  • Where parents are unable to agree on the arrangements for their children, court proceedings may become necessary. In either case, it is the obligation of the parties and the Court to consider the best interests of the children.
  • There are no hard and fast rules about the time that children should live with or spend time with either parent. The parent with whom the child lives and the amount of time the child spends with the other parent will depend on a number of factors including:
  • the ages and wishes of the childrenwhether there are other siblingsthe possible effect to any change in living arrangementsthe role each parent will have in encouraging a continuing close relationship between the children and the other parentany family violence involving the children or a member of their family including any final contested Intervention Order that includes the children or a member of the children's familythe ability of each parent to cater for the children's physical emotional and intellectual needsthe maturity, background (including culture and traditions) sex and lifestyle of the children and of each parent
  • There is a requirement, before initiating a court application for parenting orders, to attend mediation (See Mediation).
  • Kelly & McHale Family Lawyers have extensive experience in this delicate area of the family law. Whilst at all times the parties are encouraged to resolve their own issues regarding children this is sometimes not possible and we can assist in litigation that may become necessary.

There is a requirement, before initiating a court application for parenting orders, to attend mediation (See Mediation).

Kelly & McHale Family Lawyers have extensive experience in this delicate area of the family law. Whilst at all times the parties are encouraged to resolve their own issues regarding children this is sometimes not possible and we can assist in litigation that may become necessary.

Property

Following the breakdown of a marriage, an appropriate division of property is critically important to the financial future of both parties. Prompt legal advice is vital.

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Parenting Arrangements

After the breakdown of a relationship involving children (whether a marriage, de facto or same sex relationship) it will be necessary to consider the appropriate arrangements for the ongoing care of the children.

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De Facto/Same sex relationships

Upon the breakdown of a de facto or same sex relationship either party can seek to negotiate, mediate or litigate any property issues arising from the breakdown of their relationship.

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Mediation

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) or mediation is now required in all parenting matters before Court proceedings can be initiated. This means you must have at least tried or been invited to participate in mediation.

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Enforcement of Orders

Unfortunately, even where agreements have been reached or Family Court orders made, it can be necessary to take steps to enforce an agreement where one party does not comply with the terms of the agreement or the terms of an order.

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Child Relocation

In these days of greater mobility, where international and interstate relationships are more common, issues often arise surrounding the relocation of children following the breakdown of a relationship.

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Child Support

Following separation parties will need to consider the ongoing support of their children.

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Spousal Maintenance

A person has a responsibility to financially assist their spouse (including de facto and same sex partner) if the spouse's personal income or assets cannot meet their own reasonable needs.

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Divorce

An application for divorce can be made by either party to a marriage or by both parties jointly, after the parties have been separated for a period of at least 12 months immediately preceding the filing of the application.

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