You may be wondering why exactly you need a child custody lawyer. A typical scenario following a divorce or separation involves the unfortunate reality of parents disagreeing with the parenting arrangements concerning their children.
Such disagreements will often not be able to be resolved informally amongst the parents. Accordingly, this is why it is so crucial for you to have an experienced child custody lawyer on your side to advise you on the best steps to undertake in any given situation.
This article will discuss the various situations where a child custody lawyer is required and should be consulted.
Child Custody Lawyer For Parenting Orders
Parenting Orders contain information regarding:
- Which parent(s) will have parental responsibility for the child
- Which parent the children will spend time with and on what day(s)
- Details regarding travelling overseas with either parent and the stipulations around that
- The locations and times of changeovers
- Agreements such as both parents not being allowed to speak negatively about one another in the children’s presence
To apply for parenting or consent orders, the parties must be separated. This means they are no longer living together as husband and wife or defacto partners.
Can We Make Parenting Orders Ourselves?
A common misconception regarding parenting orders is that they are required following divorce or separation, which is not valid.
Parents may have an informal arrangement amongst themselves that contains details on matters such as:
- How they will raise their children
- The times and days each parent with spend with each child
- Who the children will live with
- Times for pick-ups and changeovers
- Who will make medical decisions for the children
- The religious upbringing of the children
- Any other important decisions
The only issue with this is that parents can be understandably far too emotional after the breakdown of their relationship to come up with arrangements in the children’s best interests.
Accordingly, their thought process may be selfishly suited to their own needs or a means of punishing their former partner.
This is why if it is not possible to have an amicable agreement, a child custody lawyer should be consulted, and arrangements should be formalised.
What If The Other Parent Has Taken Your Child Without Permission?
It is vital to remain calm if the other parent has taken your child without your permission, despite the scariness of your situation. This is important so you can think logically.
Typically, the other parent has no intention to cause any harm to the child – so you must put your concerns aside and focus on how to locate them.
If there isn’t any domestic violence order against the other parent, such as an AVO, you should first try to reach out to them and resolve the matter civilly.
If this does not work or is not possible – you should try and have relatives or mutual friends reach out on your behalf to facilitate an agreement.
If this again does not work, your final option to resolve the matter informally would be to have a child custody lawyer reach out to them on a casual basis to resolve the issue. This can be an extremely effective option, as a child custody lawyer can discuss with them and warn them of all of the legal consequences of their actions.
What If I Cannot Locate Them?
If you cannot locate them, a Location Order Application should be filled out as soon as possible.
A Location Order includes details such as the last time you saw your child and information regarding any enquiries you had made to find your child’s location and the other parent.
You mustn’t delay in applying. This is because any delay can result in your partner and child’s location becoming harder to track. To better understand the steps to undertake for applying for a Location Order, you should contact a child custody lawyer as soon as possible.
Applying For Full Or Sole Custody Of a Child
Sole or full custody refers to the predicament where one parent has the sole discretion to make all the decisions regarding the living arrangements, welfare and care of the children without consulting with the other parent.
The starting point in Court is always that it is in the child’s bests interests to have a meaningful relationship with both parents.
Accordingly, this presumed starting point will need to be rebutted with evidence to the contrary for full custody to be given to one parent.
The Court will contemplate the following matters in its decision process:
- The danger of exposing the child to any form of harm or violence
- The benefit of the child having a meaningful relationship with the parent compared with the risk of exposing them to any harm or violence
- Court orders that are currently in place
- Police Reports
- The mental state and stability of both parties
- The Affidavits of both parties
The simple fact that one or more of these factors can be proved does not necessarily indicate either parent will be awarded sole parental responsibility or otherwise be excluded entirely from the lives of their children.
For instance, in the situation that there is a risk involved in exposing a child to a parent, the Court may still order supervised contact amongst that parent and child in a centre. From here, that parent may eventually work up to more significant visitation and custody rights.
Suppose you are contemplating applying for sole custody, or your former partner has instituted proceedings against you. In that case, you should consult with a child custody lawyer to understand your options.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing wit is important to note
Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start, and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way. With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Contact JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers.
Suppose you have any more questions regarding a child custody lawyer’s role or any other family law matters.
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