Many people still refer to ‘custody’, ‘access’ and ‘visitation’ when discussing children’s living arrangements. The current terminology is ‘lives with’ for custody, and ‘spends time with’ for access and visitation.
When it comes to parenting, family law is firmly focused on the best interests of the child. In the absence of any family violence or child abuse, there is a presumption that it is in your child’s best interests for both parents to have equal shared parental responsibility.
This means that Mum and Dad share all of the rights and responsibilities that go hand in hand with parenting.
Decisions about major long-term issues, such as where your child goes to school, changing your child’s last name or moving with your child to a new area, should be made jointly by the parents in consultation with each other.
Shared parental responsibility is not to be confused with shared time. Separated parents are encouraged to cooperatively reach agreement about their child’s living arrangements. Family dispute resolution services, such as Family Relationship Centers and Relationship Australia, can help you navigate potential issues of conflict.
If a court decision is required in your circumstances, the court will consider whether it is in your child’s best interests (and is reasonably practicable) to spend either equal time, or substantial and significant time, with each parent.
‘Substantial and significant time’ includes your child spending time with each parent not only on weekends and holidays, but also during the week, so that both parents can be involved in the child’s daily routine, schooling and special occasions.
Appropriate family law advice should be sought for your particular circumstances. A family lawyer can help you to negotiate parenting arrangements and document your agreement by way of a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders.
Davey Law specialises in all aspects of family law, including:
- Parenting and children’s matters
- Separation advice
- Property settlements
- Spousal maintenance
- Collaborative Law
- Domestic violence
- Financial agreements
- Court documents and hearings
As a law practice, our goal is to achieve just outcomes for our clients whilst at the same time minimising the trauma and expense of legal action.
We work towards an amicable settlement, as we believe that an adversarial approach is unsuited to relationship conflicts.
If your matter is beyond negotiation and requires litigation to achieve a fair outcome, we will represent you in Court.
We are located in the Eaton Central shopping centre at Eatons Hill, where there is plenty of parking available.