These matters were previous referred to as Child Custody matters but are not more frequently referred to as parenting or children’s matters.

The best interests of a child is the paramount consideration.

Primary considerations are the benefit of a child having a meaningful relations with both parents and the need to protect a child from abuse, neglect or family violence. There are other considerations.

There is a presumption that parents have equal shared parental responsibility for their child but the Family Court can rebut this presumption if it would not be in the best interests of the child.

The information in above paragraphs will change in the near future and any new final orders will come under the new legislation.

Child Custody, Parenting Matters, Children's Issues

Parenting Orders (previously known as Child Custody Orders) or Parenting Plans could cover issues such as:

  • Living arrangements for a child;
  • Time spend & communication with a child;
  • Parental responsibility for a child;
  • Any other aspect of the care, welfare or development of a child, such as religion, education, medical and travel.

Pre-action procedures in Children’s Matters

There is a requirement that parties attend upon a Family Relationship Centre or other recognised family dispute resolution practitioner to try and resolve and agree on parenting matters. If that fails, then the parties can have recourse to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

In case of urgency, child abuse or family violence an exemption can be sought.

At CLT Family Law we can assist you prior to going to a family dispute resolution conference, by providing you with advice as to what would be a good arrangement in your circumstances.  

If your matter is not suitable for mediation or the other party refuses to attend or no agreement can be reached, we can assist you with preparing the required letter giving notice of your intention to commence proceedings.

If dispute resolution fails then we can advise and represent you in Family Court proceedings.

CLT Family Law soon hopes to be able to offer our clients the option of applying for Legal Aid with us. When this occurs CLT Family Law will undertake work funded by Legal Aid and will assist our clients in seeking Legal Aid grants where appropriate.

We can also assist grandparents, stepparents and other relatives seeking arrangments in relations to the children.