Parenting Matters

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Parenting matters, in a family law context, are matters involving a child or children. There are a range of different family law matters and not all family law matters involve parenting matters.

Parenting matters arise when parties separate and they have children together (including all children whether biological and non-biological children).

A child is considered to be a human being under the age of eighteen years of age.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child defines what a child means.

Article 1 – Convention on the Rights of a Child.

Family law parenting matters are where parents, guardian or other interested and relevant persons seek to resolve arrangements for a child or children when there has been a separation or divorce by their parents or carers.

Following the separation or divorce, it is likely that the arrangements that had been present prior to the separation are not able to continue. For a period of time, while the parents or carers remain living together, the earlier arrangements may be able to remain in place, however, usually in the long time it is not possible and consideration is given as to what arrangements should be in place for the children in the interim and long term.

It can be difficult sometimes to know what arrangements are best for a child and there are a range of different factors that may be considered when determining what parenting arrangements are best for a child.

There are a number of rights afforded specifically for children under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the rights have been ratified into nearly two hundred different countries around the world.

For example, in Australia, with regards to the Family Law Act 1975 (Commonwealth), pursuant to section 4, when interpreting the term child within the Act, a child is a person under the age of 18 including a person who is an adopted child.

Parenting Arrangements for Children

Considerations for parenting arrangements may include such things as:

  • where the child will live;
  • where the child will spend time with another person and the frequency and length of such time;
  • which person(s) will have parental responsibility for the child and if more than one person has parental responsibility then how those persons will consult and make decisions and exercise that parental responsibility and how any disputes arising will be resolved;
  • the communication methods and frequency the child will have with a specific person or persons;
  • how the child will financially be provided for and otherwise taken care of;
  • processes or procedures for how future disagreement concerning the child might be resolved;
  • Any other aspects regarding the child not addressed above and may include aspects of their care, welfare and development.

The persons concerned with a child’s parenting arrangement is not necessarily limited to only the parents and could include an adult child of the relationship or some other relative of the child such as an aunt or uncle.

You may wish to consider engaging an Independent Children’s Lawyer to act directly to the best interests of the children.

If you have a child or children and are wanting to discuss how to best meet the needs of your children for parenting arrangements, Claire Naidu & Co provides services for resolution of disputes including conflict coaching, mediation, arbitration, negotiation and collaboration. Click here for our contact details.

Our principal, Claire Naidu, is also an experienced Independent Children’s Lawyer and Child’s representative. She can be appointed to act on behalf of your child or children and can work with the parties to achieve an outcome and resolution in the best interests of the child or children.

Note: This blog does not constitute legal advice and Claire Naidu & Co is not responsible for any reliance upon its contents.  

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