Protecting Your Children’s Welfare During a Separation

If you are have separated, or are considering separating from your partner and you have children, it is vital to ensure that they are well cared for and that their best interests are considered. The impact of separation on children should not be underestimated. If separating parents can agree on nothing else, most will agree that the children’s interests are paramount.

This is consistent with the law’s main consideration which is what is in the “best interests” of each child. 

What is in the best interests of your child will be different from other families and the Courts acknowledge the difference. You can work through parenting and children issues with your partner and family members and formalise those arrangements with a family lawyer. Or if you can’t agree then you can seek help from other family law professionals.

Joint Parental Responsibility

Parents will usually have joint parental responsibility. This means that both of you as parents will share the major decisions about your child, such as health and schooling.

Joint parental responsibility is different to living arrangements.  Living arrangements determine the time to be spent with each parent and this depends on the desire of the parent, the practicality of the time sought and the ability of a parent to create an appropriate living environment for the child and what is the best for your child.  Other factors are also taken into account when deciding on living arrangements.

 

Need Legal Advice?

Some of the parenting and children’s matters in which we provide advice and representation are:

  • where and with whom each child is going to primarily live;
  • how much time should each parent spend with his or her child;
  • drafting orders setting out a detailed timetable for parents to follow – this creates certainty and consistency for the parents and children;
  • settling disputes about children;
  • representing parties in the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia in children’s matters – this can include requesting more time or seeking orders; and
  • Urgent court applications where a child is in danger or where a recovery order is necessary.

We will advise you as to what legal rights you have and where necessary, take steps to protect your legal position.

Other topics that might interest you are Parenting Orders and Grandparents Rights (includes significant others).

We try and avoid the need for going to court and prefer to reach a solution sooner.  If you and your partner cannot reach an agreement before going to court, we will guide you through the process. We regularly appear in the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in relation to children’s matters.

Our family lawyers are experienced and empathetic to our clients’ position, but tough and determined where required on the other party. We take a robust approach so that your side of the story is heard and advocated strongly. It is critical that you speak up loudly, which is where we assist.

We have helped others and we can help you.

Speak to a family lawyer today on 1300 907 335 or complete the contact form on this page and we will happily respond to you promptly.

FAQs

What is equal shared parental responsibility?

Equal shared parental responsibility is a concept contained in the Family Law Act that deals with the major decisions that are needed in a child’s life, and who has the power to make them.

Parental responsibility are the powers that parents have over their children. This includes the major long-term decisions that are needed to raise a child, including:

  • education of a child – such as where they go to school;
  • religion and cultural upbringing;
  • medical issues of a child; and
  • the child’s name.

Without a court order in place, as was the case prior to being separated, parental responsibility is shared equally between both parents. The only way to displace this is to ask the Court to make an order granting you sole parental responsibility.

The presumption in family law matters is that each parent should have equal shared parental responsibility for the major long-term decisions of their children. This means that the Court and the Family Law Act emphasise both parents working together for the benefit of their children. Discussing the needs of the children on a long-term basis and working on joint goals is what equal shared parental responsibility is all about.

These responsibilities along with how you parent day to day can be covered in a parenting plan or parenting orders. You can formalise the details of your parenting relationship and the other day-to-day interactions and responsibilities you have with your children.

 

The professional development of our family lawyers matters greatly to us so that we can improve the service that our law firm provides to our clients. Our family lawyers are members of the Family Law Section of the Law Council. The Council seeks to influence the development and practice of family law in Australia and the also promote the professional excellence of family lawyers. 

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Melbourne Vic 3000

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1341 Dandenong Rd,
Chadstone Vic 3148

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311 Lonsdale St
Dandenong Vic 3175

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Ground Flr,
435 Nepean Hwy
Frankston Vic 3199

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441 South Road
Moorabbin Vic 3189

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84 Hotham St,
Preston Vic 3072

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12 Clarke Street
Sunshine Vic 3020