Our children and what arrangements are made for their care in the event of a separation is often the most important consideration and a cause for concern, uncertainty and upset to parents and to the children.
We understand this and Merthyr Law can assist parents in resolving their parenting disputes in a child focused manner. Merthyr Law can assist with strategies to minimise the impact on children to facilitate the negotiations in relation to short and long-term parenting arrangements, financial support and other matters for children.
Family Dispute Resolution
We encourage family dispute resolution. In almost all circumstances compulsory family dispute resolution is required to be completed prior to any court application being made in relation to children and the parties must obtain a certificate from an Accredited Family Dispute Resolution practitioner confirming the parties have attended family dispute resolution counselling which must be filed with the Application seeking children’s orders.
There are exceptions to that requirement which are:
- the court is satisfied of an urgent need for the order;
- some other special circumstance such as family violence;
- the court is satisfied that it is not practical to require counselling;
- orders by consent.
If agreement is reached regarding children, consent orders can be lodged with the court without the parties or the children being required to attend at court.
We recommend with respect to family dispute resolution that formal mediation take place and we can provide advice as to this process which is very effective in resolving most issues and disputes regarding the living arrangements for children.
A court application for children’s orders applies to all children whether born before or after marriage or before or after a de facto relationship and includes children who are adopted, born by artificial conception or under a surrogacy agreement.
Either a parent, a grandparent, the child or any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of a child can commence an application.
A parenting order made by the court can include one or more of the following matters:
- the parental responsibility of the children which means all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to children;
- who the children should live with;
- the time spent by the child or children with each parent or other family members;
- the level of communication the child or children will have with their parents or other persons that they do not live with;
- any other issue regarding the care, welfare or development of the child or children or the parenting responsibility for the child or children.
With respect to the financial support of children, the Child Support Agency can assist with financial matters, or alternatively private binding child support agreements can be reached between the parties. Merthyr Law can also assist with these documents.
We can help with current or future family law issues or estate planning matters.
Please contact our Accredited Family Law Specialist, Peter Pavusa on (07) 3252 5044 to discuss, or email Peter.Pavusa@merthyrlaw.com.au.