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Meet with our Clarity Lawyers in Newcastle & Maitland or request an online consultation from anywhere in Australia

Child Custody and Parenting Arrangements in Australia

In Australia, we prioritise the well-being of children even after a divorce or separation. The Family Law Act 1975 encourages shared parental responsibility, emphasising both parents’ involvement in decision-making. However, shared responsibility doesn’t always mean equal time or care.

To ensure your child’s best interests are met, we encourage you to create a flexible parenting plan that considers practical arrangements for their care. If you and your ex-partner can agree on a parenting plan, we can help you seek legally enforceable consent orders from the Family Court of the Federal Circuit Court.

In you and ex can’t agree, your case can be brought to court and the court will consider various factors to determine the child’s best interests when issuing a parenting order. However, mediation or family dispute resolution is usually required before pursuing court intervention. That’s why we recommend consulting with Clarity Lawyers first for personalised guidance throughout this process.

We understand that each family is unique, and our goal is to provide caring and reliable support and we help you to prioritise your child’s well-being every step of the way.

How Our Newcastle and Maitland Child Custody Lawyers Can Help You

Clarity Lawyers are leaders in family law and we are your expert family lawyers in Newcastle and Maitland. Our goal is to help you see things more clearly and move forward in your life.

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Legal Advice

Based on the information you provide during our initial discussion, we’ll explain your rights, obligations, and the likely outcomes in your case. This personalised advice would help you make informed decisions throughout the settlement process.

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Consent Orders

If you and your child’s other parent have reached an agreement, we can prepare and submit the necessary documentation for consent orders. This will formalize your agreement into a legally binding court order, ensuring that both parties are legally obligated to comply with the agreed-upon parenting arrangements.

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Negotiations and Meditations

We can assist you in negotiating with your child’s other parent to reach a mutually acceptable parenting agreement. Through mediation or other forms of dispute resolution, we can help facilitate productive discussions and assist in finding common ground.

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Court Representations

If your case requires court intervention, we would represent you in court proceedings. Our property settlement lawyers would prepare and present your case effectively, advocating for your best interests and striving for a favourable outcome.

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Parenting Plan Preparation

We can help you draft a comprehensive parenting plan that reflects the best interests of your child. This plan will outline practical arrangements for your child's care, including living arrangements, visitation schedules, decision-making processes, and any special considerations that may be relevant.

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Legal Document Review

If you have already prepared a parenting plan or consent orders, we can review the documents to ensure they meet the legal requirements and protect your rights and the best interests of your child. We can provide feedback, suggest revisions if necessary, and offer guidance on how to improve the document.

Our Process

Step 1:
Initial Consultation

During our initial consultation, you can provide us with the details of your property settlement case. This allows us to assess your legal needs, provide preliminary advice, and establish a working relationship with you.

Step 2:
Expert Guidance

If you decide to proceed with Clarity Lawyers, we would provide you with comprehensive legal guidance and representation throughout the property settlement process, from paperwork to negotiations, or court representation.

Step 3:
Resolution and Finalisation

If you are able to reach an agreement with your ex, we would prepare the Consent Orders. But if not, we would represent you in court and fight for a favourable outcome. After the court makes its decision, we’ll do some final touches and make sure that the court orders are properly carried out.

What Sets Us Apart

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Why Choose Us

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We have over 20 years of experience in family law, including property settlement, parenting arrangements, separation, and other divorce matters. Our extensive knowledge and experience in handling family law cases have helped a lot of people move forward in their life.

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We offer a transparent pricing structure. While our legal services are priced on an hourly basis, we provide fixed fees for divorce cases only. This ensures that you know where you stand on the cost of our services upfront.

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We are dedicated and caring family lawyers in Newcastle who prioritize improving your situation rather than focusing on profit. We genuinely care about your well-being and are committed to achieving positive outcomes for you.

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We aim to provide realistic and practical advice and achieve a good outcome in the shortest time possible. We try to avoid going to court as much as possible as it will only cost you more energy and money than necessary.

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We prioritize providing personalized attention to each client and are committed to being accessible and responsive throughout the legal process. That’s why we do not take on more work than we can handle and focus on helping you first.

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We have automated various processes to decrease the time our family lawyers need to spend on a file, ultimately reducing costs for clients. This allows us to streamline our operations and provide efficient and cost-effective services.

Honest & Caring Newcastle and Maitland Family Lawyers,
Here to Help.

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Samantha Miller

Director and Principal Solicitor

Samantha comes from a family of lawyers in Newcastle, specializing in family law. With extensive experience in the field, she is dedicated to guiding individuals through difficult times and helping them envision a brighter future. Samantha holds legal qualifications from both Australia and the UK, and since 2016, she has been practicing family law in Newcastle.

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Kayla Ryan


Kayla is a highly experienced legal professional with a Bachelor of Law and over 5 years of expertise in family law. She is admitted to practice in both the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia. With a strong focus on effective communication and customer service, Kayla is dedicated to assisting her clients through the challenging process of family law matters.


Frequently Asked Questions

You shared parental responsibility with your partner, which means you have equal rights to make decisions about their child’s upbringing. However, the specific arrangements for custody and visitation can vary based on the child’s best interests and individual circumstances.

The court’s primary consideration is the best interests of the child. Demonstrating a strong and nurturing relationship with the child, being actively involved in their life, and prioritizing their welfare are important factors that can strengthen your case for custody.

Depending on the child’s age and maturity level, their preferences may be considered by the court. However, the court will always prioritise your child’s best interests and may weigh their preferences against other relevant factors in the case.

There are options available, such as attempting to resolve the issue through mediation or family dispute resolution. If necessary, we could seek enforcement of the parenting agreement or applying for a variation of the court orders, depending on the circumstances.

A parenting plan is a written agreement between parents outlining the arrangements for their child’s care. While it is not legally binding, it reflects the parents’ intentions. Consent orders, on the other hand, are formal court orders approved by the court, making them legally enforceable.

The duration of the process can vary depending on various factors, including the complexity of the case, the willingness of the parties to reach an agreement, and the court’s availability. While it is difficult to provide an exact timeline, we assure you that we would work efficiently to move the process forward as smoothly as possible.

The court considers a range of factors, including the child’s age, their relationship with each parent, the child’s wishes (if they’re mature enough), the parents’ ability to provide for the child’s needs, any history of family violence or abuse, and the child’s cultural background. The court’s main focus is on ensuring the child’s safety, well-being, and overall best interests.

Yes, it is possible to seek a modification of existing child custody orders. However, you will need to demonstrate a significant change in circumstances that justifies the modification. The court will consider whether the proposed changes are in the best interests of the child before making any modifications.

If there is a breach of a parenting order or agreement, it is advisable to document the instances of non-compliance and attempt to resolve the issue through communication or mediation. If the breach persists, you can seek enforcement of the order or agreement through the court. The court has the power to impose penalties or make alternative arrangements to ensure compliance.

Yes, grandparents and other significant relatives may have the right to seek custody or visitation rights in certain circumstances. The court will consider the child’s best interests and the nature of the relationship between the child and the grandparent/relative when making a decision.

The cost of engaging a child custody lawyer can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, the amount of work involved, and the lawyer’s fee structure. I can provide you with an estimate after discussing the details of your case during our initial consultation. I will strive to provide you with transparent and cost-effective services.

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