Child Custody

Often one of the most difficult things to agree upon following separation is child custody – how much time each parent will spend with the children.

Separating parents who are trying to negotiate parenting arrangements should be aware that following legislative changes to Australian Family Law, terms such as “child custody”, “child access”, “sole custody”, “joint custody” “contact”, “access” and “visitation” are no longer in use.

The Family Court now uses terms such as:

“lives with”
“spends time with”
“primary parent”
“primary carer” and
“parental responsibility”.

At Reardon Family Lawyers we take a child-focused approach to assist you in negotiating the amount of time you will each spend with the children.  There are a number of factors to consider when resolving parenting agreements. Under the Family Law Act 1975 the primary considerations the Court will look at are:

  1. The benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both of the child’s parents; and
  2. The need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.

There are several other factors to consider when determining what type of arrangement will be appropriate for your circumstances. We are more than happy to discuss those with you.

When determining who a child is going to live with, it is also important to set out who the child will spend time with on special days such as Holidays, Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day or any other days that are significant to you and your family.

Once a parenting agreement has been reached it can be documented by either:

  1. A Parenting Plan; or
  2. A Consent Order

Reardon Family Lawyers are happy to listen to any concerns you may have and advise you regarding which course is most appropriate for your unique set of circumstances and can prepare the relevant paperwork for you.

We look towards the future

Contact us today. If you are unable to call into our office we also offer a mobile service where we can meet you at a suitable place (coffee shop etc) at a time that suits. Please let us know if you would like to take advantage of this service.


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