Parenting Arrangements

FAMILY LAWYER PARRAMATTA, sydney & nsw

PARENTING ARRANGEMENTS (FORMERLY CHILD CUSTODY)

After separation, how you determine the time you each have with your children can be one of the most challenging elements of this process.

The law enshrines the Best Interests of the Children as the Paramount Consideration. That is, any proposal must pass the test of being in the best interests of the children. We know what that means in real terms and will help guide you in framing your proposal accordingly.

If you and your former spouse or partner are in agreement about how you will share care of your children, or if you need assistance in getting to an agreement or if you are unable to negotiate your parenting arrangements effectively, our team can help.

If you are looking for information to change existing arrangements, read on to learn more. We cover both scenarios – if you are both in agreement and if you are not in agreement. 

We understand that it can be difficult to make a decision about selecting the right people to help you which is why we would like to make it a bit easier for you. If you decide to work with us after your initial appointment, we will credit the cost of the appointment towards your fees, essentially making your initial consultation free. 

This is our way of demonstrating our commitment to providing excellent service. We also offer fixed fees for some services as well as convenient payment options. Ask us for more information about these options in your first meeting. We look forward to assisting you.

WE HAVE AGREED ON OUR
PARENTING ARRANGEMENTS

Once you have both reached an agreement, you can detail the terms of your shared care of your children in one of two ways:

  • Parenting Plan
  • Consent Orders

A Parenting Plan is an informal document detailing the terms of your care arrangements. 

Consent Orders is a process where you detail the terms of your agreement and file them with the Court for the court’s approval. If approved, then they will become Court Parenting Orders, which means that the terms are legally enforceable, meaning both you and your children’s other parent will be required to comply with the orders otherwise face reprimands and penalties if you don’t follow the orders.

Regardless of which type of agreement you prefer, both options will benefit from you each seeking independent legal advice. As family lawyers we see many instances where people change their mind about the terms of their arrangements which create a range of other issues, not to mention unnecessary stress and additional legal expense. 

Our team can provide you advice so you can ensure your Parenting Plan or Parenting Consent Orders are beneficial for your children and you not only in the short term, but into the future as well.

Discuss your intended shared care arrangements by an experienced family lawyer first.

A small investment now often saves a lot of stress and expense later on.

WE ARE NOT IN AGREEMENT ABOUT OUR
CHILDREN’S CARE ARRANGEMENTS

If you are not in agreement about your shared care arrangements, the very first step is to seek legal advice to learn if what you are proposing would be considered appropriate by the Family Court.

There are a number of avenues available to you when you are unable to reach an agreement about the care of your children. When you seek advice from a family lawyer you are able to determine whether negotiations should continue, with or without our assistance, or if you should consider one of the family dispute resolution avenues.

Mediation (known as Family Dispute Resolution) is one of these methods. A mediation is a meeting with both parents, and their lawyers where appropriate, that is facilitated by an independent person trained in family dispute resolution. They will identify the key issues and may highlight to both of you what is an acceptable range of acceptable outcomes to a court.

The goal of mediation and other family dispute resolution avenues is to help you both come to an agreement about the key issues in dispute. Importantly, it is to help you both avoid having someone else – a Judge – making the decisions about the care of your children for you. 

Mediation is also a method to help you both avoid the significant costs that come with taking a parenting dispute to Court. The disruption that a parenting dispute can create for you and your children should be front of mind.

Where there are concerns about safety, there are alternative methods to conduct a mediation to ensure the safety of those affected.

Early advice from a family lawyer allows you to be aware of your options and negotiate with the other parent from an informed standpoint during the mediation.

Early advice also helps many people avoid the significant costs, time delays and stress that comes with preparing for a Family Court hearing.

Court Proceedings are commenced when mediation does not resolve the dispute between the parents. This is often expensive and a long drawn out process.

Take the first step to learn how to move forward with your parenting arrangements.

Book a confidential appointment with one of our experienced family lawyers.

CHANGES TO PARENTING ARRANGEMENTS

Have a Parenting Plan or Parenting orders in place but want it changed in some way?

Whether you have informal or formal parenting arrangements in place will impact the avenues available to you. A parenting plan is an informal agreement whereas Parenting Orders are legally enforceable and require a different process.

Changes to a Parenting Plan

If you have a parenting plan and you and your child’s other parent are in agreement, we can assist you with making amendments to your Parenting Plan.

If you are not in contact or it is unsafe to discuss the terms of a change to your parenting plan, reach out to our team to discuss your circumstances.

Changes to Consent Orders or Parenting Orders

If you already have Orders in place, but you would like to make changes , a variation may or may not be possible. Generally, it depends on the parenting arrangements that you already have in place, and the circumstances surrounding those Orders.

Importantly, if your arrangements were Court Orders, that is, made by a Judge, and you wish to apply for a variation to your Orders, your change of circumstances needs to be significant for the Court to consider amending existing Orders.

If you are both in agreement about your intended changes, then you may be able to have the Orders changed. Our team can draft and file Consent the necessary paperwork for the Court’s review. 

If the other parent does not agree with the changes you propose, our family lawyers can provide you advice about your options and the likelihood of your wishes being approved. Then, if you decide to proceed, we can assist you with your application and representation at Court.

Our first consultation is free if you ask us to ASSIST IN YOUR MATTER

Our team regularly provides advice about applications for variations to existing parenting arrangements.

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SEPARATION
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FINANCIAL AGREEMENTS
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Legal Costs

Generally each parent pays their own legal costs unless one of the parents is shown to have acted most unreasonably.

FIXED legal fees which we are able to offer you provide you with certainty.

Generally lawyers are paid for the time which is spent on the matter and must provide you with an estimate. As a matter of course we will do that.

Parenting Arrangements

Family Lawyer Parramatta, sydney & nsw

Our family lawyers provide parents with advice and insights about where other parents have had both positive outcomes and challenges.

Whatever your goal, ensure that you seek legal advice about the terms of your parenting arrangements, even if you are both in agreement.

Our deep knowledge of family law can help you avoid some of the unforeseen issues that commonly arise for parents and their children. We encourage you to reach out to our team and make a confidential appointment.

OUR FIRST CONSULTATION IS FREE IF YOU ENGAGE US TO ASSIST IN YOUR MATTER

We are also prepared to estimate our fees or FIX them based on your preference.