Parenting & children in family law matters
Quite often what will happen with the children following a separation is the greatest concern for their parents. There are a number of factors to be considered when making arrangements for the children and the overriding principal is “the best interests of the child or children”. Arrangements for children vary greatly but generally will fall into one of the following:
- Equal time. Circumstances where the children will spend equal time with each parent, not necessarily alternate weeks however at least 7 days per fortnight with each parent. Social science research shows that this generally works better the older the children become;
- Lives with one parent and spends ‘Substantial and Significant’ time with the other. Generally where one parent is deemed to be the ‘live with parent’ the children will spend between 4-6 nights a fortnight with the other. Arrangements such as these work well for children from any age;
- Lives with one parent and spends time with the other parent. This describes the situation where children spend only limited time with the other parents such as every second weekend.
- Lives with one parent and spends no time with the other parent. Such orders are rare in private family law matters and a Judge will only order no time where there is a risk of harm to the child.
Need a family lawyer?
We can assess your situation and let you know the types of arrangements you should be considering for your child or children based on your circumstances, the social science research and the law. We will guide you through the process of reaching an agreement with your ex-partner whether this involves advice so you can proceed on your own, assistance with negotiation, attendance at mediation and ultimately if necessary commencing and pursing court proceedings. At the point agreement is reached we can advice on the best way to formalise this and draft the necessary documents.