What is a Child Custody Lawyer?
In 2016, 47% of divorces involved children under age 18.
If you and your former partner have children and cannot agree on the care arrangements for your children, you may need a Child Custody Lawyer.
What is parental responsibility?
Parental responsibility means all the responsibilities, authorities, duties and powers parents have in relation to their children. When a parent’s relationship status changes, this does not change their parental responsibilities in the eyes of the law.
How a Child Custody Lawyer helps you
Before going to court, a Child Custody lawyer will provide you with legal advice relevant to your situation based on the Family Law Act.
When you go to court, they will argue on your behalf as to why you should have parental responsibility for your children, and to what extent. The decision handed down by the court is based on what is in the best interests of the children in your situation.
The best interests of the children
The court determines what is in the best interests of the children based on the following factors:
- The benefits of the children having a meaningful relationship with both parents
- The need to protect the children from harm or exposure to abuse, if applicable
- The likely impact on the children of any changes to their circumstances
- The practicality of any proposed living arrangements, such as the distance between the homes of each parent
- The view of the children themselves, if they are considered to have a mature level of understanding
Plus many other relevant factors.
The court may determine that the children should have an equal relationship with both parents, or it may determine some other arrangement is more appropriate. Their decision is based on your own individual circumstances and the relevant provisions of the Family Law Act, so it helps to have an experienced professional act on your behalf in all court dealings.
Benefits of using a Child Custody Lawyer
There are many benefits to engaging a Child Custody Lawyer, including:
- They understand how the Family Law Act operates. They can therefore advise you on the impact of these laws in your situation, and the expected outcome of your matter
- As a Child Custody Lawyer is a neutral person, they are able to negotiate on your behalf in an understanding and practical way. This helps the court understand your situation more clearly so they are more able to make an informed judgment
- They are experienced at negotiation and court proceedings. This takes the pressure and stress off you, and ensures the correct processes are followed at all times.
Do you need a Child Custody Lawyer?
If you and your former partner can agree on appropriate care arrangements for your children, you may not require a Child Custody Lawyer to represent you. However it is still a good idea to obtain a legal agreement detailing your agreed responsibilities, and a Child Custody Lawyer can help you with this.
If you cannot agree, you can attend mediation to help you determine the care arrangements before going to court. Similarly to going to court, a Child Custody Lawyer can negotiate on your behalf during the mediation process.
We suggest contacting us as soon as possible after your relationship ends. If you are able to come to an agreement quickly we can help you with the details of your agreement, or if you need to progress your matter through mediation or the courts, we can help you.
For more information regarding child custory, get in touch with Burbank & Brown.