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Look after your
most valuable assets
– your children

You want what’s best for your kids. And so do we

All too often, family lawyers focus on the division of assets, often overlooking the most important asset of all: your children.

Nothing’s more heartbreaking than children caught in the middle of an acrimonious custody battle, divorce or separation.

The right agreement can ensure that whatever caused the breakdown of your relationship doesn’t spill over and harm your children.

Just like you, we want what’s best for your children, and will advocate for a solution that protects their wellbeing.

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There are two main considerations when making decisions regarding parenting arrangements and child custody: the importance of retaining a meaningful relationship with both parents; and the need to look after the child’s welfare and development.

Coming to an agreement is tough. As parents ourselves, we understand your instinct to be part of your child’s life, as well as your desire to do right by your kids, and how tough it can be to strike the right balance.

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Ask a child support lawyer…

Like you, our focus is on child welfare.

When it comes to children, parenting and child support arrangements will be chosen based on your circumstances, and what will have the least impact on your child’s mental health and wellbeing.

If children from previous relationships were treated as family members prior to the end of your current relationship, then they will continue to be treated as family members.

This often includes stepchildren who will be considered when determining parenting arrangements.

Parental responsibility refers to the responsibilities parents have for their children in relation to decisions made with respect to a child’s welfare and future.

This includes day-to-day decisions, as well as long-term choices including education, health, and religion.

Parenting arrangements on the other hand refer to arrangements regarding who will take care of the children.

This includes where the children will live, who they will spend time with and how they will be supported financially.

A parenting plan is a written agreement between both parents that set out arrangements with regard to parental responsibilities and arrangements (see above).

A parenting plan does not need the approval of the Court, and is not legally enforceable.

A parenting Order is an Order made by the Court that sets out arrangements – these Orders are legally-enforceable, and (barring exceptional circumstances) breaches come with considerable consequences can apply such as fines and jail terms.

Cases such as child abduction and and child abuse should be dealt with by the appropriate authorities such as Child Safety Services.

If you believe that a child is in immediate danger, you should call Triple Zero (000) as soon as possible.

In addition to filing Intervention Orders on your behalf, our child support lawyers can also direct you towards the appropriate Child Safety Services Office and can help make a case for intervention if required.

It is not always the case where parents are able to agree upon the care arrangements for their children.

In these instances, parents can ultimately ask the Court to decide what arrangements should be made.

The Court takes into account a number of factors when making these decisions. The primary considerations of the Court are the safety, welfare, and the best interests of the children.

Child custody lawyers Melbourne

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Parental child abduction

Abducting a child is a serious crime – unfortunately, it’s also one that many parents resort to when they are unhappy with a parenting arrangement.

Many parents will refuse to grant visitation, relocate the child or take them overseas without your knowledge in defiance of your parental rights. This is often in an effort to hurt you, or cut you out of your child’s life altogether.

If you’re worried that your former partner is planning to, or has abducted your child, report the matter to police immediately.

It’s also important that you seek legal advice. The process of tracking down your child often begins with a Court Order such as a Recovery Order – something a child custody lawyer can assist with.

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Child abuse

Family violence is never acceptable – especially when it’s directed at a child.

If you’re concerned that your child is suffering from abuse while they’re in your former spouse’s custody, an intervention order may be required to protect your child’s welfare and extricate them from the situation.

Unfortunately, it’s not unknown for vindictive former partners to falsify allegations of child abuse in an attempt to overrule your parenting arrangement and gain sole custody over your children.

If you have been served an illegitimate Intervention Order, you should consider seeking legal representation.

Our child custody lawyers will contest a spurious or malicious Intervention Order application on your behalf, representing you in Court and ensuring that your parental rights are maintained.

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