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Children & Custody FAQs

Who will get custody?

The law states parents should have equal shared parental responsibility unless the Court orders otherwise.  This does not mean children have to spend equal amounts of time with each parent although the Court will consider this.

If the Court does not consider equal time with both parents appropriate, it must consider making an order for a parent to have substantial and significant time if that is in the child’s best interests and is reasonably practicable.

How often can I see my children?

A parent’s time with the children is determined according to what is in the child’s best interest.  It is usually of benefit to the children to have as much time as possible with both parents in order to be able to enjoy their company and to receive their guidance, love and affection.

If you are in agreement as to the time that each parent will spend with the children and where they will live, you and your ex-partner should put in place a Parenting Agreement or apply to the Court to have Orders made.

We provide a Fixed Fee Service for drafting up these documents, for more information contact our office.

What if there is a dispute in relation to the arrangements?

If there is a dispute in relation to the arrangements for the children you should seek legal advice to resolve matters as quickly as possible.

Family Dispute Resolution

The Family Law Act 1975 requires you to attend mediation and obtain a certificate from a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner before you file an application with the Court for an order in relation to a child.

The people who offer these services are independent professionals.  They are trained to help people sort through their concerns and assist in reaching an agreement.

There are certain circumstances where a certificate is not required including issues of urgency and violence and your solicitor can advise you whether such a certificate is required.

What happens if I cannot pay child support?

Get legal advice if you cannot pay the required amount of Child Support.  This will help you to avoid any penalties.

If you lose your job and receive an income-tested benefit, your assessment will reduce to a minimal amount.

Can I leave the country with the children?

The law says children have a right to a relationship with both parents, and other important people in their lives.  Moving a long distance away or interstate or overseas will affect these relationships.

If there are parenting orders, get legal help before doing anything that may break them.  The Court can make an order to find and return children.

If you are travelling on a holiday you should get agreement from your former partner to take the children away and you may also wish to get that agreement in writing.


Child custody and divorceImportant Note:  You should never discuss any dispute between you and your ex-partner with your children.  Your children should never be a witness to an argument between you and your ex-partner.  Both parents need to be focussed on what is best for the children during this difficult time.

We provide Fixed Fee Services for children’s matters such as drafting up Child Consent Orders and Child Support Agreements.  For more information regarding our Fixed Fee Services contact our office on 07 3390 2344.

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