CHILDREN'S ISSUES

Children’s issues are the most important, and can often be the hardest, to resolve after a separation.

We advise you about the rights and obligations of parents with respect to the children, the starting point of equal parental responsibility, and guide the parties towards a child-centric resolution of the questions of where the children are to live, with whom they spend time, how much time they spend with their parents, and even issues such as the surname to be used by the child, academic and religious education, and child support.

We can support you through negotiations and the mediation process to try and reach an agreement about the children’s matters without going to Court. We can formalise the agreement as a Parenting Plan or a Consent Order.

If there’s urgent circumstances or it hasn’t been possible to reach agreement with the other parent, we can assist you to bring Court proceedings and seek Orders about children’s matters.

See us about:

Children's Issues

  • Where will the children live?
  • What arrangements need to be made for the other parent to spend time with the children?
  • Special Issues - religion schooling, supervision
  • Child Support (Maintenance)

Mediation and negotiations

  • How an agreement about children’s matters can be structured, make sure everything you need to cover is discussed
  • Negotiating with the other parent on your behalf
  • Support you to participate in mediation to negotiate an agreement in relation to the children’s matters
  • Formalising the Agreement

Urgent applications when:

  • One party has gone into hiding or absconded with a child;
  • One party has, or is trying to, remove the children from the country, or interstate
  • Children are being, or are at risk of being, abused
  • Hague convention applications

Consent Arrangements -

When everyone is in agreement, and you just want to record and make that agreement binding and final:

  • Parenting Plan
  • Consent Orders
  • Child Support Agreements

Existing Orders

  • Changes to existing orders
  • Enforcing orders when one party is not complying

Talk to an experienced family lawyer

Please don’t hesitate to book a free 30 minute initial consultation with one of our specialist family lawyers on this website or by calling us on 5576 9999.

Mediation and negotiation

We can help if you and the other parent are having difficulty sorting out the arrangements for the children. We can assist you with advice about all the things you need to agree upon, undertake negotiations with the other parent if things have become stuck or less than amicable, and we can help you to reach an arrangement which is workable, thorough and operates smoothly. 

Parents are usually required to attend mediation in an attempt to reach an agreement about children’s matters without resorting to litigation. We can assist you with advice about what to expect at mediation, the topics you should think about and talk about, help reach solutions which will work for both parents.

If an agreement is reached, we can assist you to draw up your agreement as a Parenting Plan or Consent Order.

Parenting agreements – Parenting Plans and Consent Orders

An agreement about children’s matters can be set down as either a;

  • Parenting Plan
  • Consent Order

A Parenting Plan is an agreement between the parents. It is flexible and it is not legally binding, although a court can later consider the plan.

Parenting Plans are ideal for parents who are just starting to work out how to parent separately and aren’t sure what arrangements will work for their situation. If something isn’t working out for your children, then the plan can be changed to adapt to something that will work. You aren’t locked in by any formal Court Order. 

A Consent Order is an Order of the Court which has been consented to by both parents. The Order is much simpler to apply for than usual litigation. It is legally binding and there are sanctions from the Court for parents who do not comply with the Order. They are enforceable in Court.

We can help you decide which path you wish to proceed with and draw up the necessary documents for you to enter into a Parenting Plan or apply for a Consent Order.

LOCATION & RECOVERY OF CHILDREN

We have the experience to assist you with your children’s matters, including issues relating to location and recovery of children and relocating with children.

Where one parent relocates with children, without the other parent’s consent, that party can approach court seeking orders that the children be returned to the area they were removed from.

These Court orders usually require people or organisations (such as government departments like Centrelink) to give any information they have relating to the whereabouts of the parent or children and then further orders that a marshal of the Court or Federal Police officers, return the children to a specified location.

We can assist you in obtaining or opposing a relocation order, which is where one parent seeks to relocate, with the children, to another part of the state, country or world, to live.

Children’s matters are sensitive and emotional. It is an area of law that is constantly changing. Please contact us for advice specific to your circumstances.

Get the facts. Get Help. Call our team.

CONTACTS FOR THIS AREA OF LAW
Andrew Smyth

Andrew Smyth

Commercial Law Court Work & Litigation Family & De Facto Law Wills and Estates
With 30 years’ experience working in and managing business, Andrew Smyth is sought after by industry and commerce for his specialist knowledge in structuring, regulatory compliance…
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Sarah Galvin

Sarah Galvin

Court Work & Litigation Family & De Facto Law
From Brisbane to Kent County, England, back to sunny Queensland, Sarah has amassed over 20 years legal experience, locally and internationally. In that time Sarah found…
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Isabella Phillips

Isabella Phillips

Court Work & Litigation Family & De Facto Law Wills and Estates
Bell graduated from Bond University in 2019 with a double degree in Law and Business.  Since graduating, Bell has completed her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice…
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