Children’s matters

Do I need to attend mediation?

Mediation can be a helpful process for parties who have recently separated to try to resolve parenting matters. If you have reached agreement with the other party you do not need to attend mediation, however if you cannot agree on parenting arrangements and are considering commencing Court proceedings you must first attempt mediation and make a genuine attempt to resolve the dispute. The Court will not allow you to commence proceedings until you have attempted mediation, except in limited circumstances such as in matters of urgency or there has been family violence or abuse. 

We have reached an agreement about parenting matters, do we need a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders?

Once an agreement has been reached it can be finalised by way of a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders. There are differences between the two options and we can provide you with advice as to whether a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders is appropriate in your circumstance.

We cannot agree on parenting arrangements, now what?

If an agreement cannot be reached as to parenting matters and mediation has not been able to help resolve the matter an application can be made to the Court for parenting orders. In all matters the Court must have regard to what is in the best interests of the children.

Do the children get to decide who they want to live with?

Children’s views as to where or who they want to live with are not determinative. The Court must consider what is in their best interest. However, as children become older their views about where or who they want to live with will have more weight with the Court.

My ex-partner wants to relocate to another State with our children, can I stop them?

If your ex-partner is proposing to relocate the children a significant distance away and you do not agree you should make your objection known immediately and obtain legal advice. If the relocation is opposed the parent wishing to move should first obtain the Court’s permission. If the other parent does relocate without your permission an application should be made to the Court without delay.

How do I get a passport for my children?

Both parent’s consent is required to obtain a passport. If one parent does not agree to a passport being obtained an application will need to be made to the Court for a passport to be issued. 

We have Court Orders in place for the children but my ex-partner is not complying with the Orders, what do I do?

There are serious consequences for breaching a Court Order without having a reasonable excuse for doing so, including the non-complying parent being ordered to complete a parenting program, fines, ‘catch up’ time being ordered or in serious cases imprisonment. The Court can also vary the existing Orders. If your ex-partner is not complying with the Orders you can attempt to resolve the issue through mediation or negotiating, if that does not resolve the matter a contravention application can be made to the Court.