CHILD CUSTODY

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Child custody in Australia: understanding your parental responsibility to ensure your child’s wellbeing

As a parent, we understand that you are always looking out for the best interests of the child. When parents experience a relationship breakdown, the children’s lives are impacted by emotional distress and uncertainty. It is natural to feel apprehensive about seeking legal advice on family matters, and we know that each family is different. One of the benefits of seeking legal advice in a timely manner is that it will ensure stability and certainty. These are two key elements for your child’s well-being.

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    I’ve separated from my partner and we can’t agree on parenting arrangements: What’s next?

    This is a common question for family lawyers and we are well-equipped to provide a tailored answer. Each parent has parental responsibility for their children until they are aged 18 years old – this responsibility is not dependent on the parents’ relationship. For example, if you separate or remarry, the responsibility that you have for your child’s life remains the same.

    We understand that separation can be an emotional rollercoaster. It is a challenge as both a partner and parent. However, it is important that you understand the legal courses of action available to you. These are the best pathways for you to resolve your family law matter. Taking this step will ensure that parental responsibilities are clearly understood by both parties.

    Ideally, the parents are able to reach an agreement on their parenting roles. It should honour a fair distribution of care and shared expectations for the child’s development. Alternatively, where parents cannot come to mutual agreements on their responsibilities, Australian courts are empowered to make parenting orders.

    The best course of action for the wellbeing of your child is to create a safe and stable separation of parenting duties. In some cases, this means reaching a mutually agreeable parenting plan with your former partner. The legal definition for a parenting plan is that it is a voluntary plan. It details the new working order of the family as two separate households.

    However, we understand that reaching an agreement on parental responsibility following the end of a relationship is not always possible. Where agreement cannot be reached between yourself and your former partner, there are pathways through the Family Court of Australia where consent orders can be made. These are legally enforceable rules for the care of your child’s development, delivered to set a clear parenting arrangement

    I don’t want to share custody but my former partner is putting up a fight. What are my options? I also need to ensure that they pay child support – their income plays a significant role in our children’s lives.

    When the communication between yourself and your former partner has broken down, it can be challenging to agree on the best interests of the child. One partner may desire equal time, and the other may seek sole custody. This can become especially complicated when there are new de facto partners or other family members that wish to be considered or heard in the matter. If you are seeking sole custody with child support from your former partner, you will need to commence court proceedings for a custody arrangement to be ordered by a judge. This is achieved by filing an Initiating Application that asks the Federal Circuit Court of Australia or the Family Court of Australia to make orders.

    I want my children to know both their parents and I’m open to shared parenting. Recently, I’ve had safety concerns for my children when they leave my care to be with my former partner. Who should I notify?

    We understand that decision making for your children’s lives is overwhelming. Adding to the personal challenges of a relationship breakdown, it is important that you feel supported in the process of re-establishing yourself as a single parent. This support is critical to ensuring you are able to continue prioritising your children’s wellbeing.

    However, if your concerns relate to family violence, domestic violence or psychological harm, we firstly encourage you to report your concerns with the police or other support services in your local area. Secondly, there are legal actions you can take to ensure that the shared parenting arrangements are limited for your child’s safety. This could mean seeking sole custody over the children or it could mean seeking an order for supervised contact.

    When should I start speaking to a lawyer about my parenting arrangements?

    The sooner you reach out, the sooner you can provide stability and certainty to your family. Starting the process with a phone call, we are available to provide you with free and honest legal advice. Contact us to book in a free initial consultation and discuss your situation. We are here to advocate for you.

    Frequently Asked Questions.

    Our lawyers cover a multitude of areas, including more serious offences. Including but not limited to:

    Family Violence
    Family violence is among the most common cases we encounter, with both men and women subject to institutional abuse. While it doesn’t necessarily entail sexual abuse, in many cases, it does, and sexual assault is part of the Criminal Code. We handle such cases with confidentiality and cautiousness to ensure the best possible compensation outcomes.

    Children-related Issues
    The children’s court is frequently confronted with issues of child protection, children’s rights, custody arrangements as a result of divorce, parental responsibilities, and more.

    Because we understand how far the impacts of such situations can go in the memories of children, we work rapidly and efficiently to establish protective measures against children’s trauma and minimize time spent in a children’s court. You and your children are fully protected with us!

    Drugs
    We have a track record of achieving outstanding results when it comes to drug offence charges, ranging from demolishing the possibility of a criminal conviction, dropping charges through negotiations, securing “not guilty” verdicts in court trials, and more.

    Our drug offences include commercial drug charges, drug importation charges, drug possession charges, and cultivating prohibited plant charges. We also work with minor possessions of prohibited drug offences, providing you with legal representation throughout the process!

    Fraud

    Fraud is considered one of the most scheming criminal offences, and accordingly, it is punished severely by the court system’s penal code and criminal code. As specified by Australia’s penal code, the penalties can go as high as ten years of imprisonment.

    Accordingly, understanding the criminal law adequately and reaching out for professional legal advice to be your intermediary with the criminal justice system is a must. We specialize in forgery, identity crimes, tax fraud, Medicare fraud, and ID fraud.

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