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Parenting Disputes

When you separate from your de facto partner or spouse, it is imperative that proper arrangements are made for your children.

The current terminology regarding parenting is as follows:

  • "Parental responsibility" – usually parents share this responsibility, however there are circumstances where one party can have sole parental responsibility. This refers to the ordinary duties, powers and responsibility that parents have by law.
  • "Live with" – this is the modern reference to 'custody' or 'residence'. Children can live with both parents on an equal basis, or live primarily with one parent.
  • "Spend time with" – previously this was referred to as "access" or "contact". If the child primarily lives with one parent, there can be specified times where they spend time with the other parent.

If you and your former partner are able to reach an agreement regarding the parenting arrangements for your children, we can assist you in formalising that agreement.

Alternatively, if you are unable to reach an agreement, we can assist you with mediation, undertake further negotiations on your behalf or represent you in Court proceedings if that is required.

Should Court proceedings be necessary, you may be required to attend mediation before filing an Application with the Court. More information about compulsory mediation can be found on our website under Family Mediation.

For further assistance, please refer to our Plain English Guides, or contact the Family Law Department on 6933 6950.

Kristan Somerville

Tonya Longmore