When it comes to your children and what is in their best interests, we understand that you have to fight for what is right.
When it comes to your children and their best interests, you need expert legal guidance to ensure their well-being. Under the Family Law Act 1975, children should have a meaningful relationship with both parents, but decisions should always prioritize the child’s best interests. Our Child Custody Lawyers specialize in Children’s & Parenting Matters, helping parents navigate this complex legal landscape.
Understanding Equal Shared Parental Responsibility
Under Australian family law, parents typically share “equal shared parental responsibility.” This means both parents have the right to make decisions about major long-term issues, including schooling, health, and religious practices. However, in some situations, parental responsibility may be altered or even removed in extreme cases.
Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) – A Vital Step
Before pursuing court proceedings, parents or guardians must attend Family Dispute Resolution (FDR). FDR is a mediation process designed to facilitate agreements that prioritize the child’s best interests and the family’s future. It’s a crucial step to reach a resolution before heading to court.
Please note that cases involving family violence, interventions orders, child abuse, or urgent matters may be exempt from FDR.
How Oxford Partners Can Assist
Oxford Partners is your partner in ensuring the well-being of your children during separation. We connect you with the right resources, such as information, counseling, dispute resolution, and group programs, to help you mediate children and parenting matters successfully.
The Role of a “Child Custody” Lawyer in Children’s & Parenting Matters
In Australia, the legal terminology used for child custody arrangements is “Children’s & Parenting Matters.” While “child custody” is more commonly known, our experienced lawyers work within this preferred terminology to provide you with the best possible legal support.
Our primary goal is to encourage co-parenting when it’s in the best interests of the children. When parents can agree on arrangements, we can formalize them. However, if disputes persist, we will initiate court proceedings on your behalf, ensuring the child’s best interests are safeguarded.
Some of these issues may be agreed between the two parents. However, in the event that this does not occur, it may be necessary for the parties to obtain a Family Report. Our “child custody” lawyers will sit down with you during your first consultation and explain the process with you in detail and what the potential outcome could be for you in this highly stressful time.// the_field('content_outcome'); ?>
Oxford Partners is conveniently situated on Little Lonsdale Street, nestled in the bustling centre of Melbourne’s CBD, just a stone’s throw away from Flagstaff Station. This prime location ensures seamless accessibility whether you’re travelling by train, tram, car, or by foot if you prefer to take a leisurely stroll through the city. Additionally, its proximity to the serene Flagstaff Gardens offers a nearby escape to nature, allowing for a perfect balance between urban convenience and natural tranquillity.
Children who are aged 14 and over have the right to choose their custodial parent. As parenting agreements also tend to consider emotional support as a factor for deciding who will be a child’s custodial parent, opinions expressed by children aged between 8-14 have still been known to impact custody arrangements. Parenting agreements can also be altered as children age to ensure custody arrangements will consistently support the child’s changing needs.
As joint custodial arrangements are reliant on a structure of co-parenting where parents largely agree on all aspects of their child’s upbringing, it is actually simpler organising sole custody arrangements over joint or shared custody. This isn’t to say sharing custody is impossible, however. Such agreements can be arranged and maintained with the use of family mediation sessions.
‘Best interests of the child’ is an integral term in the discipline of child custody law which is used to determine which of the child’s parents is best suited to provide for the child’s unique needs or care requirements. A parent can prove they have the best interests of the child by demonstrating they have the parenting skills, time availability, concerns for safety and wellbeing, and other elements of custodial responsibility. You can read more about proving the best interests of the child in our article on children’s matters.
It is considered a conflict of interests for the same Family Lawyer to represent both parties in any given case, including child custody cases. It is possible, however, for both parties to be represented by Family Lawyers from the same firm.
Separated parents can only file individual claims for Child Care Subsidy via Centrelink if they share the costs associated with child care. The Department of Social Services stipulates, however, that only one parent can make a claim on a care session at a time, so separated parents are unable to make claims on the same sessions of care. False claims may result in penalties such as fines or even a loss of custody.
A child custody agreement is created when the parents determine an arrangement for their children's future living arrangements. Usually, a child custody agreement is made in accordance with the best interests of the child, although it can differ from state to state. A family lawyer can advise you on the best way to create a child custody agreement that is the most suitable for you and your children.
Child custody arrangements can be settled outside of a court through mediation. Mediation is a process in which the parents meet with a mediator, such as a family lawyer, and try to come to an agreement that is suitable for both parties. If a settlement is not reached through mediation, the child custody issue will be determined in Family Court.
In Australia, parental rights are the rights and duties of parents to care for and make decisions about their children. Custody is one form of parental right where a parent has the right to make decisions about their child’s life, such as school and medical decisions. It's common misconception the parental rights of the mother supersede that of the father, but in reality, the parental rights of both parties are considered equally when determining child custody arrangements.
The best interests of the child is what determines the outcome of a child custody arrangement. There are a range of specific factors when determining the best interests of the child, such as parental capacity, cultural values and society views. For example, living with a parent with a stable job and time in their schedule to pick the child up from school who values kindness, acceptance and understanding could be in the best interest of the child.
A co-parenting agreement is an agreement that protects the rights and responsibilities of both parents. Child custody arrangements can be confusing for the parents involved and for their children, so it’s important to try to make sure the arrangement is as clear and simple as possible for all parties.