The main concern of the law has always been the child’s best interests. The Australian family law recognizes the right of children to have a meaningful relationship with both the parents and have protection against any kind of harm—physical and psychological. In the event of separation or divorce, your child still enlists a shared parental responsibility. This means that major life decisions influencing the future and well-being of a child like choice of school, health decisions, religious observance, etc. are to be shared.
However, future parenting is often not arrived at through mutual agreement. Litigating child custody is an emotionally straining experience and is often the last resort. Thus, it is extremely important to understand the process as well as its implications.
If you are sure that your concerns have had no resolutions and you are seeking court intervention related to child custody, make sure you know how to choose the best course for your child.
Have you tried mediation?
Most parenting arrangements can be achieved without the intervention of courts. A good lawyer will always recommend finding alternate ways rather than filing court claims for child custody. Experienced family lawyers have a proactive approach towards litigation and are best equipped with pragmatic advice.
You may find that hiring the right lawyers has helped you avoid going to court at all and even if the litigation is filed, an early settlement is reached. This saves time, money, and effort on all ends so that you can raise your children without interruptions and at the earliest.
Prior to filing an application in the Family Law Courts for Parenting Orders, you have to demonstrate that alternative methods of dispute resolution have been approached or exhausted. Again, a well-versed lawyer will be best able to gauge the exemptions that may apply to your case.
Are you sure about your concerns?
Remember, the key concern for the court is the ‘child’s best interest’. Consequently, any parenting arrangement determined by the court will focus on what’s best for the child rather than the concerns or wishes of the parents. The following questions can help you be sure and re-evaluate your own desires:
- Do you want sole parental responsibility? Why?
- Are there concerns about the other parent’s ability to care for the children?
- Are you willing to accept and contribute towards co-parenting effectively?
- Why do you want the children to live with you? Is the children’s ability to adjust to a new house or new lifestyle a major concern?
- Do your children stand to gain or lose from the proposed change in their social environment?
- Are your children at risk of violence, abuse or neglect? Can you produce evidence of this?
Your child deserves not only the best outcome but also the avoidance of a long drawn-out process that litigations are prone to.
Avoid mistakes that can cost you your child’s custody
Seek appropriate legal advice to evaluate alternate measures and also to understand the ramifications of your present actions. Most parents act impulsively during this period of stress. Often it’s detrimental to the welfare of the child and the outcome of your case.
Instances like badmouthing the other parent, withholding access or non-communication can have adverse effects. Another important purview that should not be neglected are the family reports and interviews. Many judges base their recommendations on these expert analysis and independent opinions. It helps to be prepared in this scenario.
Child custody is a complicated task with additional stress arising from a separation. If you need guidance to keep the children’s best interests ahead of your own decision making and would like advice, you can visit Prime Lawyers.
Guest Author Bio
John Guevara is an Outreach Specialist, Link Builder and Content Editor at Local Digital Australia. His passion for helping people in all aspects of digital marketing flows through in the services he provides for his agency. He has also been in the Business Process Outsourcing Industry since 2008 having served as a Customer Service Representative, Quality Assurance Manager, Project Manager, and Operations Manager.