Senior Associate Family Law
It is important to seek legal advice in relation to children and parenting matters as early as possible, as the arrangements that you make early in separation will impact on your future arrangements.
Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is an inexpensive, government funded process available to all separating families. FDR is similar to mediation with the aim to assist parents to reach agreement. If an agreement is reached at FDR, it is generally written into a Parenting Plan. In most cases, you are not able to commence Family Law Court proceedings unless you have attempted FDR.
At FDR, there are generally no lawyers involved, so it is recommended that you obtain independent legal advice prior to attending. Any Parenting Plan you enter into at FDR will be relevant in any future Family Law Court proceedings required if arrangements break down, so it is important that you understand your legal position prior to entering into a Parenting Plan.
You may also negotiate a Parenting Plan directly yourselves or with the assistance of lawyers, it does not have to be done through FDR. If you can negotiate an agreement or Parenting Plan, it is advisable that it be formalised by way of Consent Orders as these are legally enforceable.
If you are unable to reach agreement and require Court orders in relation to your children, you can consider applying to the Court. The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) regards the best interests of the children as the paramount consideration in parenting matters. You may make an application to the Court in relation to parenting matters at any time.
If you require advice in relation to your children or parenting arrangements, please contact BJT Legal on (03) 5333 8840 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that this is general information only and is not intended as legal advice.