Parenting Rights & Child Custody Lawyer in Perth
We are experts when it comes to seeking and obtaining court orders relating to children of the relationship. The law focuses on achieving parenting arrangements that are in the best interest of the children. This paramount consideration primarily seeks to protect the children from physical, emotional and sexual abuse whilst ensuring the children have the benefit of maintaining a meaningful relationship with their parents.
Although the terms ‘custody’, ‘residence’, ‘contact’ and ‘access’ are no longer used, the issues behind the jargon are still on the top of the list of concerns for separating couples. We can provide advice in answering the following questions:
- Who will the child or children live with?
- How will they spend time with the other parent?
- How will both parents be kept in the loop regarding important decisions such as education and health?
Equal Shared Parental Responsibility & Legal Support
The law recognises the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility which means that both parents have legal rights and responsibilities towards the child. It doesn’t mean that the child will spend half of their time with one parent and half with the other, but that each parent has an equal say in decisions relating to the child in areas such as health and education.
Do the children have to spend equal time with each parent?
The law ensures that the best interests of the children are served first. When considering what is in the children’s best interests, the court must consider facilitating a meaningful relationship between the children and both of their parents and protect the child from harm.
If the court is to provide equal shared parental responsibility, then it will also consider whether equal time is in the best interests of the children and whether it is practical. Rather than equal time, for example, the court may order substantial and significant time be spent with the other parent, which might translate to be 4 nights per fortnight rather than 7.
How do I commence court proceedings for parenting orders?
Unless the matter is urgent, parents are required to engage in mediation with each other before seeking the court's intervention. This involves contacting a mediator who is recognised as a Family Dispute Resolution practitioner to conduct a mediation session between you and your ex-partner.
Where you have engaged in mediation and have been unable to reach an agreement, you will be issued with a certificate showing you have met the requirement of engaging in mediation and seek the court's intervention to reach a final decision.
If the matter is urgent on the grounds of recovering a child, preventing travel of a child, child abuse and domestic violence to name a few, you will be able to file an exemption to the mediation requirement.
Please contact our office to discuss these matters in detail.