JosephDavid Lawyers are experts in Family Law Parenting and Child Custody disputes. Together with Family Law Property disputes, this is our main area of legal practice as Family Lawyers.
Family Dispute Resolution
Pursuant to the Family Law Act, before parents can bring an application to the Court for Parenting Orders, they are obliged to have genuinely attempted Family Dispute Resolution. There are exceptions to this obligation, for example, in circumstances of urgency or family violence.
There are a number of Dispute Resolution centres available through which parents can attempt mediation – Relationships Australia, Family Relationship Centres or Family Life centres, each of which have numerous branch offices and locations. Dispute Resolution is often free of charge.
Parenting Orders/Custody Arrangements
Where you are able to negotiate parenting arrangements, we are able to draft Parenting Plans for the parties to adhere to. Parenting Plans aren’t enforceable as Orders of the Court and the consequences for breaking Parenting Plans aren’t as severe. We can also assist in preparing Parenting Orders Consent to solidify the agreement through binding Court Orders. We are able to provide a Fixed Price for drafting Parenting Plans or securing Parenting Orders by Consent.
In the event that you are unable to reach agreement about the parenting matters for your children, we can help by applying to the Court for Parenting Orders outlining live-with and spend-time arrangements for the children. As Parenting matters are inherently subject to the particular features of the relationship dynamics between the parents and each child, it is difficult for us to provide a fixed price for the overall matter. We can, however, provide a fixed price for different stages of the matter, for your peace of mind.
Importantly, at law, until the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court of Australia make Parenting Orders under the Family Law Act, both parents have equal full parental responsibility for the children. It is only after the Court makes specific Orders is that responsibility shared between the parents, such that long-term decision making for education, religion, relocation, etc., are to be made jointly (or solely, in extreme cases).
The paramount principles of the Courts when making Parenting Orders pursuant to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) is to ensure that the best interests of the children are upheld. In so Ordering, the Court is bound to ensure that the children are minimised from risk of harm and the Orders made encourage, to the maximum extent consistent with their best interests, a meaningful relationship with both parents.
Under the Act, the Court is to consider, firstly, equal shared parental responsibility and equal shared care. It is only where equal care is not practicable in the circumstances, or not in the child’s best interests, are primary live-with and spend-time arrangements considered.
In extreme cases, sole parental responsibility and supervised time or zero spend-time may be Ordered.
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We do our very best to ensure that your children’s best interests and your desires remain our priority and to hopefully add you to the list of our glowing client reviews.
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