Children’s Issues

Father and mother divorcing

The collapse of a marriage has devastating consequences for everyone involved especially when there are children in the relationship. A settlement can be made between both parties outside the court to resolve any disputes that may arise. This is generally the best outcome and recommended by family lawyers.

However, legal counsel is necessary to document the agreement or to address disagreements that may arise.

Children and Separation

Divorce can be extremely stressful on children as this sensitive period is filled with uncertainty. Separated parents can make the process less painful and have a legal obligation to attempt to settle disputes. Under the basic principles set out by the Family Law Act, children have the right:

  • To have a meaningful relationship with both parents
  • To be properly cared for and protected against harm 

It is often appropriate for families in dispute to seek legal counsel when determining such arrangements and to have a Consent Order formalised.

Family Dispute Resolution

Separated couples are required by the Family Law Act to first attempt to resolve parenting disputes that are in the best interest for the children. This is also called Compulsory Family Dispute Resolution which involves both parties attending mediation to reach an agreement regarding:

  • Education
  • Living arrangements
  • Medical issues
  • Cultural matters 

Both parties are encouraged to seek legal counsel to come to a fair agreement. Further negotiations may be necessary through lawyers if an agreement cannot be made regarding these matters.

Applying For a Parenting Order

If the dispute resolution process leads to an agreement, both parties can then enter into a Parenting Plan or apply for a Consent Order to the family court.

A Parenting Plan is designed for parents to reach an informal agreement regarding who the child will stay with and the allocation of responsibility. Although parenting plans are signed by both parties, caution needs to be taken as it is not legally binding and not approved by a court.

In situations where there is a dispute, obtaining a Consent Order is strongly advised as these written agreements are approved by a court and therefore legally binding.

Child Support

Separated parents have a legal obligation to contribute to the continuing support of children. The Child Support Agency (CSA) considers a number of factors to determine the amount and distribution of child support.

Both parties can also opt to handle these matters in private without the services of the Child Support Agency.

How We Can Help

Kawalsky Lawyers is a boutique law firm with extensive experience in family law. The emotional impact of a separation can be emotional for everyone involved, especially children. Disputes between both parties are bound to arise which is why legal counsel is absolutely necessary.

Our lawyers give comprehensive advice regarding your legal rights and obligations. In addition to children’s issues, we can assist with the following:

  • Separation and divorce
  • Parenting plans
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Financial agreements
  • Consent orders
  • Property division
  • Prenuptial agreements 

You can also be assured of strong representation if a settlement cannot be reached outside the court and see to it that your interests are protected. Contact us today to speak to one of our family lawyers about your case.

Related Pages: