CHILD RESIDENCE & CONTACT
Divorce can be a very distressing process not just for the parties involved but also for close family members. It is important to comfort your children through the process and make sure they understand what is going on and that it is not their fault. It is most important to keep the interests of the children in mind and ensure that they suffer as little as possible both during the divorce and in whatever arrangements are made for them subsequently.
Once you have separated from your spouse or partner, it is important to make suitable living arrangements for the children and ensure that both parents have contact with them.
The Family Law Act sets out the following principles: unless it would be contrary to a child's best interests:
If you and your partner can agree about the parenting of the children, who they should live with and the contact they should have with the other parent, then you may wish formalise that agreement through the Family Court. There is no obligation to do so.
If parents cannot agree about the parenting of their children, then an application can be made to the Family Court for its assistance in resolving disputes. Through the court process, the Family Court will encourage parents to reach their own agreement about the children but ultimately, if parents are unable to agree, the Family Court can make parenting orders about a child. A child residence order is a parenting order.
Whenever the court makes any orders about children, the most important consideration is what is in the best interests of the child.
If you would like more information on this legal topic, or you wish to obtain formal advice regarding your situation, contact Johnston Withers Barristers & Solicitors. They are located at 17 Sturt Street, Adelaide SA 5000 or call them on (08) 8231 1110.
Johnston Withers comprises fourteen lawyers, two paralegals and nineteen support staff. We deliver legal services to clients ranging from large corporations, trade unions, and community organisations to small businesses, families and individuals. Johnston Withers have permanent offices in Adelaide, Port Augusta and Whyalla, and visit Clare regularly. Service delivery is provided through a team structure with teams being organised to meet client needs quickly and cost effectively.
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