Children and Parenting

Separation is a very difficult time for both parents and children. Often there is significant hurt, mistrust and hostility between the separating parties.

Upon separation, parents will need to consider which parent the children will live with, and how they will spend time with each parent. Often negotiations in relation to parenting arrangements involve high emotions and require a sensitive pragmatic approach.

At Preston and Associates, we encourage our clients to take a child focused approach to resolving parenting disputes. It is our experience that parenting matters are best resolved by focusing on the needs of children and adopting a collaborative and amicable approach.

We recognise that children suffer considerably when their parents are involved in hostile and lengthy parenting disputes, and this is why we support our clients to move forward with resolving parenting matters as quickly and harmoniously as possible.

With parenting matters, as with property matters, we encourage our clients to explore out of court processes such as negotiations and mediations, in order to reach an agreement.

We have set out below some information parents needs to consider when negotiating parenting matters.

Parental Responsibility

The Family Law Act provides that each parent has parental responsibility for their children.

Further, the Family Law Act requires the court (when making a parenting Order) to apply the presumption that it is in the children’s best interest for the parents to have equal shared parental responsibility.

This is different to who the children will live with and the amount of time they spend with each parent.

Parenting Arrangements 

One of the most important decisions separating parents must make is where the children will live, and how they will spend with each parent. It is preferable for parents to make these decisions collaboratively and amicably rather than leave it to the Courts.

However, some complex matters do require a court decision. Preston and Associates have extensive experience in assisting parents both out of court and in court to resolve their parenting issues.

Child Relocation

A parent needs to obtain the permission of the other parent before they are able to relocate with children to another town/city, another state or another country.

If the other parent will not consent to the relocation, then the court will be required to make a decision about whether or not the parent is permitted to relocate the children.

It is vital that parents considering a possible relocation of children seek expert legal advice so as to ensure they are making an informed decision prior to relocation.