Children and Parenting

When your relationship breaks down you may need help making arrangements for the ongoing care of children. Our team is easy to talk to and we understand that every family is different. We work with parents and others (for example, grandparents) to achieve a solution that is in the best interests of the child.


A trusted team to assist with your Children and Parenting matter

The best interests of the child will always be the paramount consideration in any decisions regarding arrangements for children. This includes ensuring that a child enjoys the benefit of both parents having a meaningful involvement in their lives, while also protecting the child from physical and psychological harm and abuse.

We can assist with:

  • Parental Responsibility
  • Parenting Plans
  • Relocation
  • Parenting Applications

Our Services

  • Parental Responsibility

    In Australia there is a presumption that parents will have equal shared parental responsibility for parenting their child. When you separate, both parents continue to share parental responsibility, but this does not mean that a child will spend equal time with both parents.

    Parental responsibility relates to the duties, powers, responsibilities, and authority that parents have in relation to their child. This may include the child’s education, health, religion, and participation in extracurricular, sporting or artistic activities. The presumption may not apply in situations where there is family violence or abuse or there are other reasons why the presumption may not be in the child’s best interests.

  • Parenting Plans

    A parenting plan is an agreement between parents about the arrangements for their child after separation. The plan must be written, dated, and signed by both parents.

    The plan must cover one or more of the following:

    • Who the child lives with
    • The time the child spends with each parent and with other people (for example grandparents)
    • How the parents share parental responsibility for the child
    • The communication the child will have with the parent or other people that they do not live with
    • The maintenance of the child
    • The process to be used to change or resolve disputes about the parenting plan
    • Any other aspect of the care, welfare or development of the child or parenting responsibility for the child.

    A parenting plan is not a legally enforceable contract. It is not like a parenting order, which is made by a court. While a parenting plan is not enforceable, a court will take into consideration the terms of a parenting plan when considering the best interests of a child.

    If a court has already made a parenting order, the parents can agree to change the terms of that order by making a parenting plan.

  • Relocation

    Moving away with a child to another town, state or country is known as relocation. It is essential that both parents consent to one parent relocating with the child.

    If the parents cannot reach agreement about the proposed relocation, an application seeking a relocation order can be made to a court. Relocation will only be permitted if it is in the best interests of the child.

    If you relocate with the child without the other parent’s consent, or without a court order, a court may require you to return until the matter is resolved.

  • Parenting Applications

    Following separation, if parents cannot agree about future arrangements for their child, they may apply for a parenting order to be made by a court. Applications for parenting orders may also be made by the child, a grandparent, or other person concerned with the welfare of the child.

    Before an application for parenting orders can be filed with a court, parties must obtain a certificate from an accredited family dispute resolution practitioner stating that the parties have attended family dispute resolution and made a genuine effort to resolve the dispute. Certain limited exemptions apply including where family violence is an issue.

    A parenting order made by a court can cover one or more of the following issues:

    • How the parents will share parental responsibility for the child
    • Who the child will live with
    • The time the child will spend with each parent and other people (for example grandparents)
    • Any communication the child will have with the parent or other people that they do not live with
    • Any other aspect of the care, welfare, or development of the child.

    When a court makes a parenting order, there are consequences if one of the parents to that order does not comply with their obligations.

Ask us how we can help

Barry Nilsson acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which we conduct our business, and pays respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.
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