Separation can be tough on parents, particularly for those with young children. It can be a huge cause of stress for parents and children alike.
Either before or soon after you separate, you will need to consider where and with whom your children will live, and how much time will they spend with each parent.
While it is not essential, it is wise to enter into discussions about the future care of your children with as much information as possible, so that you can achieve the best outcome possible for your children. For that reason, we recommend meeting with one of our Family Lawyers confidentially, at an early stage.
Just because you make an appointment to see a Lawyer, don't assume you will end up in Court. Our aim is to assist you to reach an agreement with your former partner quickly and cost effectively, so that you can get on with enjoying your life with your children.
If you have a workable relationship with your former partner, we will provide you with helpful advice to assist you to negotiate an amicable agreement about the care of your children.
In the alternative, we can negotiate on your behalf, or represent you at Family Dispute Resolution (mediation).
Once an agreement is reached, we can formalise the agreement in Consent Orders or a Parenting Plan. There are some important differences between the two documents, and we can assist you in making the right decision for you and your children. The good news is, if an agreement is reached at this early stage, you and your children need never step foot into Court.
Statistics show that children achieve the best outcomes in life when their parents are able to reach agreement and have a capacity to, and demonstrate their ability to co-parent.
Family Court and Federal Circuit Court
In Newcastle, the Family Courts are currently comprised of two Family Court Judges, and three Federal Circuit Court Judges. All five of our Judges hear Family Law Disputes, including children's disputes.
If you are unable to reach an agreement through mediation, or other forms of negotiation then it may be necessary to make an Application to the Court.
In other cases, the early intervention stage needs to be skipped. We would normally recommend avoiding early intervention in the following circumstances:
In cases involving allegations of child abuse or Family Violence;
In circumstances of urgency.
Most people who find themselves in the Family Court have never been inside a court room before. It can be scary, and intimidating.
We can help you prepare for court, so you know what to expect.