The end of a relationship is always a difficult time in a person's life, doubly so when there are children involved. In these cases, it's important to come to an agreement about the custody arrangement quickly and with as little stress to the children and parents as possible.
Here are our tips for making your child custody matter as stress-free as possible.
What are your options?
There are three different options when it comes to deciding on a custody arrangement. Your options are:
- An informal agreement - If you still get on well with your ex-partner, it may seem like a good idea to have an informal custody agreement. But it's important to note that these kinds of agreements are not binding on the parties. Just because you get along with your ex-partner now doesn't mean you always will. There could be problems down the road in the event of re-partnering or having children with another partner.
- Consent Orders - If you can come to an amicable agreement with your ex-partner, it is better to have the agreement formalised so that it's binding and you know your ex-partner will have to stick to it in the future. Consent Orders are agreements that have been formally approved (sealed) by the Court, making them legally binding on the parties. If your ex-partner refuses to obey, the matter can be brought before a judge to make them comply, just remember that this applies to you too.
- Court Order - If you and your ex-partner cannot agree on child custody arrangements, then you will need a Court to make the decision for you. This can be a long, expensive and emotionally draining process and you may not get your desired outcome.
The best option is always to come to an agreement with your ex-partner and have it formalised in a Consent Order. This can be done with or without the help of a lawyer, but you may find it quicker and easier to engage the services of a lawyer if you are not familiar with the process.
When should you act?
It is best to start discussing child custody arrangements as soon as you separate from your partner. Depending on the nature of your relationship, it may be difficult to come to an agreement, but it is important to remember that coming to a quick and amicable solution is in everyone's best interests. You may also need to discuss property settlement matters at the same time.
In some circumstances, you may not be able to avoid going to court over a child custody dispute. If this is the case, find a lawyer who you feel comfortable with, someone who will do everything they can to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible to reduce the emotional strain on you and child.
Why Choose Rose Lawyers?
Not only do Rose Lawyers have the legal expertise to handle your child custody case, we understand that this can be a very difficult experience for you.
We care about all our clients, regardless of their situation, and we always strive to make their legal matters easy and straight forward while also getting the best outcome possible in the circumstances.
For legal advice and support with your child custody matter, contact Rose Lawyers on 03 9878 5222.