Children’s matters

Whether parties have been married or living in a defacto relationship, the hardest part of the separation is often not who keeps what property but agreeing to arrangements for the children.

At Ferrier, Athanasiou & Kakulas our solicitors can assist you through this difficult process, providing you with ongoing advice to help you during this time.

The first step when parents are unable to agree between themselves as to what arrangements should be put in place for their children is to attend mediation or Family Dispute Resolution to try and reach an agreed outcome. There are some exceptions to this, such as, where matters are urgent or a child is at risk.

We can help you prior to going to mediation by explaining the law to you, spelling out your rights and to give you guidance as to likely outcomes.

If you reach an agreement at mediation we can help you and your children by making sure an agreement is properly recorded so that you can rely on it, be it a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders.

If agreement can’t be reached by negotiations then either party can apply to the Family Court for Orders about their children.

When making an application to the Family Court for children’s Orders the Court can deal with all of the issues that arise regarding children including:

  • Where the child is to live;
  • With whom the child spends time including the duration and frequency;
  • Parental responsibility for the child;
  • Handover arrangements;
  • Communication with the child and about the child;
  • Arrangements for special occasions;
  • Schooling for the child;
  • Arrangements for the child to travel and/or obtain a passport; and
  • Airport watch list orders (where this a risk of a parent leaving with a child).

When making parenting orders the Family Court regard the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration. This in turn is the main focus of our advice when consulted about children’s matters.

If you find yourself unsure about any aspect of arrangements for your children then call Ferrier, Athanasiou and Kakulas for advice as we are experienced in relation to all aspects of children’s matters.

The Law Society of Western Australia Family Law Practitioners Association of Western Australia Law Council of Australia Family Law Section