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Parenting Matters / Child Custody

Parenting Matters / Child Custody

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One of the most stressful and emotional aspects of separation is the impact on children of the relationship, and the need to consider appropriate care arrangements following separation. 

The overriding principle to be considered in parenting matters is making an arrangement that is in the children’s best interests.  However, every family is different and the needs of the children will alter depending on their ages and their particular circumstances.  There is no “one size fits all” approach to parenting arrangements post separation, and many different factors must be considered in determining what is in each individual child’s best interests.

It is important that you do not make assumptions based on the experience of others.  You should obtain accurate legal advice rather than guessing the answer, or accepting the often incorrect (but well meaning) advice of friends or family.  Your circumstances are unique to you, and it is important you obtain legal advice that is relevant to your particular circumstances.

Common misconceptions in relation to parenting matters

Does a parent need the other parent’s consent to relocate a child?

Parents often relocate their children without the other parent’s consent.  Consent is ordinarily required, and a failure to obtain consent prior to relocation can result in urgent proceedings being filed and a Recovery Order being issued to return the children.  

There are some exceptions.  There is no guarantee a Recovery Order will issue due to consent not being obtained prior to relocation. 

Does working on a roster mean there will be an equal shared care arrangement for the children?

Your work commitments can impact the care arrangements for the children.  The children will not necessarily live in an equal shared care arrangement just because this suits your work commitments.  There are some situations where an equal shared care arrangement is appropriate, and other circumstances where less time with one parent is favoured.  As with all parenting matters, the care arrangements must be in the best interests of the children.

What age can a child choose who they want to live with?

There is a common misconception that children can choose who they live with when they reach a certain age.  There is no set age at which a child can make their own decision regarding the care arrangements.  There are many relevant factors that must be taken into account, and the wishes of the child are just one of the factors to be considered.

Does family violence impact on parenting Orders?

Domestic and family violence can impact Parenting Orders.  The impact can vary substantially and is dependent on the type of violence and whether the children are at risk. 

Parenting matters are not confined to when the children spend time with each parent.  In addition to the care arrangements themselves, there are many other aspects of parenting matters.  You can read about some of these issues by clicking the links below:-

There are many relevant factors that must be taken into account when considering what is in the best interests and the appropriate care arrangements for your children.  It is important to obtain legal advice about your particular circumstances, and the specific needs of your children.  Please telephone our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form should you wish to discuss your parenting matter with one of our experienced family lawyers.

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