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CHILD CUSTODY

We help you resolve parenting arrangements so you can establish a clear path forward and have a meaningful relationship with your children.

Commonly Asked Child Custody Questions

Who gets custody of the kids?
Every case is different and will depend on its unique facts. Broadly speaking, parenting arrangements have to be in the children’s best interests – this is the guiding principle of Australian Family Law. Ultimately, what meets a child’s best interests will depend on variables such as their age, maturity, living arrangements, their relationships with the parents and other important people, and whether there exists any high risk issues such as family violence or drug usage.
Can we immediately go to Court?
Generally, no. Parties are required to participate in mandatory mediation before initiating Court proceedings. There are of course exceptions to this rule, for example where family violence exists or where there is a real risk of harm to the child.
The other parent and I have agreed on parenting arrangements, where to now?
That’s great. Provided the arrangements and workable and in the children’s best interests, a consented outcome is far better than spending time and emotional resources in litigation. You may choose to have these arrangements turned into a Parenting Plan or filed with the Court through Consent Orders.
We have attended mediation and it failed, where to from here?

If you have not yet been issued with a “Section 60I certificate” from the mediator, request one.

The next step is to prepare the required Court documents and commence a Parenting case in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

How long does a parenting case take in Court?
The recent Guidelines by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia have set the life-cycle of a case at 12 months. Considering cases could historically take around 2-3 years to complete, this is an ambitious target. While the results of the recent reforms will be determined in time, our goal is to resolve your case wherever possible. Settlement options can be pursued at any stage of the Court process and we will work with you to ensure there is no wastage in time, money and emotional resources.
Do our kids get any say in the parenting arrangements?
As a general principle, the older the child is, the more influential their views become, though it will always depend upon maturity levels. For example, the views of a teenager would carry far more weight than those of a toddler. While children’s views may be influential, they are only one of several factors the Court must take into account when making orders that reflect the children’s best interests.
How common is a 50/50 equal shared custody arrangement?
It depends. Not every case is suitable for an equal shared care arrangement. Without limiting the scenarios, for example: where there are very young children (e.g. under 3) whom have a strong primary attachment to one parent; where the communication between parents is poor or non-existent; or where the distance between the parents’ residences makes it unworkable. In the end, each case will depend on its unique facts and circumstances, and the Court will be guided by the best interests of the children as the guiding consideration.
How do parenting arrangements work with child support assessments?

Child support is calculated on several factors, one of which is the number of nights within a fortnight that the children spend with each parent.

Free child support estimate calculator

Still have more queries? Download our “Parenting Pack” which explores in greater detail how parenting arrangements are considered in Australian Family Law.
RESOLVING FAMILY LAW DISPUTES - YOUR 1ST STEP
RESOLVING FAMILY LAW DISPUTES - YOUR 1ST STEP

Child Custody Fees

I Charge Differently to Most Lawyers

  • My pricing is based on the value I deliver to you, not the time spent.
  • My pricing encourages resolution, not stalling.
  • My pricing does not back you against a wall, it empowers you.
  • My fees are transparent from the start, not uncovered after the fact.
  • My fees are competitive in the marketplace.
  • My communication with you is included in the cost, not billed with every email sent.
  • My fees facilitate greater trust in the lawyer/client relationship, less skepticism.

Divorce

We help you close one chapter of your life and commence a new one, giving you closure and peace of mind so you can start afresh.

Child Support

We help you to set in place child support obligations that are fair, whether privately by agreement, or publicly through the Child Support Agency.

Legal Aid

We provide greater access to justice by taking on clients on a legal aid basis. We provide greater access to justice by taking on clients on a legal aid basis.