Child Custody (Parenting) matters
Parenting matters which are often referred to as custody matters are usually very emotional and difficult times for the family unit. Our child custody Sydney lawyers will help you navigate this difficult period so you can get back to focusing on you and your loved ones.
How can we help?
When couples separate and need to decide how their child or children will spend time with each parent, there are four ways to proceed, they are:
- Informal Agreement;
- Parenting Plan;
- Orders by Consent; and
- Orders by the Court.
Parents can enter into a parenting plan, which is an agreement in writing with respect to the parenting of a child. The parenting plan may deal with one or more of the following:-
(a) the person(s) with whom a child will live;
(b) the time the child is to spend with another person(s);
(c) the allocation of parental responsibility for the child;
(d) if 2 or more persons are to share responsibility, the form of consultations those persons are to have with each other about the decisions to be made in the exercise of that responsibility.
(e) the communication a child is to have with another person(s);
(f) the maintenance of a child;
(g) the process to be used for resolving disputes about the terms of the plan;
(h) the process to be used in changing the plan;
(i) any aspect of the care welfare or development of the child or any other aspect of parental responsibility for the child.
Please see the bottom of this article for the contact details for child custody Sydney lawyers, Wilding & Co. Lawyers.
Would shared parental responsibility mean that both parents would spend equal time with their child?
Just because parental responsibility is shared, that doesn’t necessarily mean that both parents will spend the same amount of time with their children. But the changes to the Family Law Act would allow this to be regarded as the starting point in the majority of cases. These matters, generally, are judged on a case by case basis.
It is in the child’s best interests to spend valuable time with both of their parents if it is possible. But that doesn’t necessarily mean equal time. Parental responsibility covers both the short-term and long-term decisions that are reached on the child’s behalf. This allows the Court to order shared parental responsibility even in instances where the same amount of time isn’t requested. There are various factors to consider when looking at the two issues and they don’t necessarily match up with one another.
Why do we need an arrangement for our child in writing?
There are times where arrangements put in place for children that are informal or verbal run quite smoothly. But that only occurs when there is cooperation from both parties. Unwritten agreements are not watertight. They cannot be enforced and either parent is entitled not to comply with the agreement at any time of their choosing. If the relationship between the parents takes a bad turn, for whatever reason, these types of agreements can be problematic. For that reason, it’s vital to have any arrangements concerning children put into writing. It’s also a preference to have the arrangements accepted by the Court.
Orders made by Consent are appropriate where a level of certainty may be required. Consent Orders are formal written instruments that are approved by the Court and are therefore enforceable if not adhered to.
Orders made by the Court are usually the last resort when negotiation and compulsory mediation has failed to resolve the matter. The Court will have regard to equal shared parenting provisions of the Family Law Act when determining what amount of time a child or children will spend with each parent.
Do you need help with a child custody matter? Contact child custody Sydney lawyers, Wilding & Co Lawyers, based in Balmain and the Sydney CBD, for assistance on 02 9701 0042.