Family Law – Children

Family breakdowns can be emotional and confusing, and can result in anxiety and uncertainty about the future and wellbeing of your children.  At Hartleys Lawyers, we encourage our clients (where appropriate) to participate in mediation services and lawyer-assisted negotiation to formulate a suitable parenting arrangement for their children, without the need to resort to litigation.

Family Dispute Resolution

The rules and considerations in the Family Law Act 1975 govern all parenting matters and arrangements.  The Act requires that all parents attempt to resolve their parenting dispute through less-adversarial family dispute resolution, prior to filing an application for parenting orders with the Court (expect in urgent matters or circumstances of family violence).  A certificate from a family dispute resolution practitioner certifying an attempt at dispute resolution outside of Court must be filed with an application for parenting orders.

If you and your former partner reach an agreement during family dispute resolution, this agreement can be formalised through an informal Parenting Plan, or through legally enforceable Consent Orders drafted by our lawyers and lodged with the Family Court of Australia.

Court Litigation

When an agreement cannot be reached, parents can commence litigation in the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court of Australia for parenting orders.  Our family lawyers are experienced advocates and provide expert advice and representation in all parenting proceedings.

Under the Family Law Act 1975, the Court will resolve all parenting matters in the context of a child’s best interest. In determining what is in a child’s best interest, the Court will consider:

  • the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents; and
  • the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm.

The Court can make a variety of orders in parenting matters, and these include (but are not limited to) which parent the child will live with, which parent the child will spend time with, and whom is responsible for future decisions relating to the child.

If you are considering commencing parenting proceedings in Court, or are already involved in litigation, it is important that you seek legal advice to ensure that the best outcomes are achieved for you and your children.

Our Services

Our skilled lawyers can assist with the following:

  • All parenting matters outside and inside of the Court system;
  • Consent Orders and Parenting Plans;
  • Private mediations;
  • Child Support Agreements;
  • International child abduction matters (including Hague Convention matters);
  • Domestic and international relocation following separation;
  • Enforcement and Contravention Applications;
  • De-facto parenting;
  • Same-sex parenting; and
  • Third-party parenting applications (from interested parties including grandparents).

At Hartleys Lawyers, we offer both privately funded and government-assisted legal aid options to client’s seeking assistance with parenting matters. Our experienced family lawyers will provide you with timely and cost-effective advice tailored to your family’s best interest in this sensitive and confusing time.  We aim to achieve an efficient, positive resolution to your parenting dispute with practical and child-focused outcomes.

Please contact us at reception@hartleyslawyers.melbourne or on (03) 8415 5600 if you would like to arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your parenting matter with one of our family law experts.