Children, Separation and Divorce
Arrangements For Your Children if you are going through a Separation or Divorce
You have three options for a formal agreement to cover arrangements for your children:
- A Parenting Plan which is a formal agreement between you and your estranged partner.
- Consent Orders which are Orders of the Family Court.
- A decision made by a Judge or Federal Magistrate.
If you cannot come to an agreement through a Parenting Plan or Consent Order, you may need to file Court proceedings. Before you can file Court Proceedings, you must participate in Pre-Action Procedures.
In the event that Court proceedings are required, a Family Report will be ordered. The report will be completed by a Family Consultant from the Family Court or a private Psychologist. If a Family Consultant is used, parties won't need to pay for the cost of the report. If a private Psychologist is used, parties will share the cost of the Family Report.
The recommendations of the Family Report writer are held in high regard by the Family Court, but the Judge is obliged to follow the recommendations of the Family Report writer. He/ she will consider the report as part of the evidence. If you dispute the recommendations of the Family Report writer or wish to clarify aspects of their recommendations, they may be called to give evidence at Court.
Cost aside, there are advantages and disadvantages to having a Family Consultant or Family Report writer appointed. Please discuss these options with a member of our team.
Independent Children’s Lawyer
In complicated cases, an Independent Children’s Lawyer may be appointed to represent the children. The ICL will meet with the children and discuss their concerns and wishes. The ICL will provide the Court with a legal opinion about the best interests of the children.
Children are not allowed in the Family Court so the ICL can be used to convey the wishes of children to the Court.
Further information about the Court process can be provided to you by your Lawyer upon request.
Ready to find out more?
Call us today on (03) 9629 9629 to speak to an Accredited Specialist in Family Law.
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