Any parent who is separating is likely to be very concerned about the effect on the child/ren and what the arrangements will be after separation. The children will inevitably be affected by the separation and it is the obligation of parents to do everything possible to minimise any negative effect on them.
It is only natural that the parent will have thousands of questions going through their head such as who will the children live with, how can we make arrangements work for all of us, who has the responsibility for making certain decisions, how will they be financially supported? In all parenting matters, the best interests of the children are paramount. After all, as adults we are responsible for looking after ourselves, but children need and deserve the protection and love of many adults, especially those closest in their lives.
Given the importance of the effect on children, it is essential that both legal and non-legal issues are considered. In any case involving children, we will almost always refer you to other professionals and give you important advice about practical and emotional issues.
We are able to assist most of our clients to reach an agreement about parenting arrangements for their children. Any agreement can be formalised by court Consent Orders, which then have legal force. Alternatively, parents can keep their arrangements informal. Whether it is more appropriate for you have formal or informal arrangements will depend on your and your children’s circumstances. Sometimes court is unavoidable, and if so for you we will guide you through that process.
It is possible for people other than the parents, such as grandparents to obtain parenting orders about the children. The role of important others, especially grandparents is specifically recognised in the Family Law Act.