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.
Not all matters are capable of amicable resolutions, this may be because of serious risk issues, circumstances of urgency, intractable dispute, and a multitude of other issues.
In Newcastle most parenting disputes will be filed in the Federal Circuit Court, or the Family Court. The Courts are soon to be amalgamated to a single Court, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA).
While our Family Lawyers regularly appear in person, by telephone, and by video-link at the Newcastle registry, we also attend Court at other registries around Australia.
Should it become necessary to commence litigation, it is important that you have practical and tactical advice from the beginning to maximise your chances of success.
A well prepared Application, Affidavit coupled with a well directed Subpoena can be the difference between success and failure. Having the right evidence on hand at the right time can often save you and your children the stress of delays otherwise encountered when proceedings are adjourned.
It has been well publicised in recent years that the Family Courts are under resourced. So you need to make the most of every Court appearance.
We will provide you with tailored advice each step of the way so you can prepare yourself for each stage of litigation.
Parenting cases are dynamic and diverse, our experience includes matters including:
- Family violence, including coercive and controlling abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse.
- Hair follicle, urinalysis, and blood testing, for drugs of abuse, excessive alcohol consumption, and performance enhancing drugs such as steroids
- Parenting after separation and behaviour change courses
- DNA testing for parentage
- Recovery orders
- Relocation, within Australia and abroad
- Grandparents and non-parent carers
- Children and parents with special needs and/or mental health issues
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.