Child custody or parenting arrangements

Child custody or parenting arrangements


Legal issues relating to children in family law is divided into two concepts: the ability of a parent to make decisions for a child (i.e. schooling, religion, medical and health decisions); and who the child gets to spend time or live with. This forms what is popularly known as ‘child custody’ or ‘parenting arrangements’.

Why do you need a lawyer?

Formalising Child Custody can be done in three ways:

  1. Parenting Plans;
  2. Consent Orders; or
  3. Starting an action in Court

A lawyer can assist you in the drafting of these documents and provide you with advice on what is reasonable in the circum.

What does the Court consider when making orders for Child Custody?

When deciding on these two issues, the Court’s approach is based primarily on what is in the best interests of that child. These ‘best interests’ are largely based on the child benefiting from a ‘meaningful relationship’ with both parents and the protection of that child from any form of harm. Other considerations involve the child’s views, practical difficulties of the parent’s relationship, eccentricities of a parent’s lifestyle and the efforts put in by the parents in maintaining a relationship with the child.

What kind of orders can a Court make for a child?

Under the Family Law Act, the Court has wide powers in determining what is in the best interests of children and making orders for their health, wellbeing and development. Some orders that the Court can make include:

  1. Who the child lives and spends time with
  2. How communication is to be had between parties relating to the children; and
  3. Essentially any aspect that affect the health, wellbeing and development of the child. 

How can we help you?

Maria Valenzuela, who heads up our family law division, has children of her own and can relate to the enormous responsibility and struggles in rearing and raising those children well. It is a difficult enough to do this as two parents, much less to have those parents go through separation.

No matter the separation of parents, they will always be a ‘mum’ and a ‘dad’ to those kids. At HNT Legal, we approach family law in a collaborative manner and aim to ensure that your family unit can move on from the breakdown and continue practical co-parenting into the future.

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