Divorce is never easy; it’s a difficult and emotional process, particularly when children are involved. Making the situation even more stressful are all the legal complexities of Australian Family Law, which are not always easy to understand.
This is why it’s important to work with a lawyer who specialises in Family Law because we can guide you through the process, helping to determine what’s best for your children. So here are five points about child custody that will help you understand more about the process.
1. Australian Family Law Focuses on the Child
The “Best Interests of the Child” is a cornerstone principle in Australian Family Law for determining child custody arrangements. This principle takes into account a myriad of factors designed to evaluate the most suitable environment for the child’s emotional and psychological well-being.
Factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, how much parenting each partner has provided, stability of housing, schooling, and even past history of family violence or neglect are all examined. Your lawyer helps you navigate this process to create a custody arrangement that’s in the best interests of your child.
2. Financial Obligations and Child Support
In matters of child support, Australian Family Law establishes that both parents have a financial obligation to their children, generally until they turn 18 or complete their secondary education. Child support is calculated on a number of factors that ensure each parent’s contribution is fair. These factors can include each parent’s income and the estimated costs of raising the child. They can also include educational expenses, healthcare, and daily living costs.
3. Role of Mediation in Child Custody
Mediation is an integral aspect of Family Law, particularly in matters of child custody. This process encourages parents to collaborate and find an amicable solution without going to court. Mediation provides a neutral ground for discussing issues such as visitation schedules, living arrangements, and financial responsibilities. Mediation often leads to quicker, less contentious resolutions that serve the child’s best interests, reducing the emotional stress of everyone involved.
4. Legal Procedures and Court Involvement
When mediation is not possible or fails to produce an agreement, then the matter goes before the Family Law Court. This is where the judge examines a range of factors to determine each parent’s suitability for child custody and their financial contribution to their child’s upbringing. Some of the factors considered may include each parent’s financial records, psychological evaluations, and character references.
5. Importance of Legal Representation
Working with an experienced lawyer is crucial when navigating the complexities of child custody and support under Australian Family Law. Your lawyer not only helps you understand your rights but also advocates effectively for your child’s best interests. Their expertise can prove invaluable in mediation sessions or court proceedings, providing the necessary legal expertise to ensure a fair outcome. In essence, qualified legal representation serves as both a guide and a safeguard in this emotionally charged time.
For assistance navigating your way through the Family Law Courts, contact New Way Lawyers on 07 3548 5868 or send an enquiry.