Children’s Issues

At Perth Family Lawyers we are equipped to provide you with expert legal advice in respect of children’s issues.

Significant changes were made to the family law legislation in 2006. One such change included a terminology change from ‘residency’ to ‘lives with’ and from ‘contact’ to ‘spends time with’. Further, the amendments to the legislation brought about a presumption at law of equal shared parental responsibility. This is NOT to be confused with a presumption of equal shared care.

Equal shared parental responsibility provides that both parents share parental responsibility and is more particularly defined to provide that parents must consult one another and attempt to reach agreement in respect of major decisions which include:

  • Change of name;
  • Religion;
  • Education;
  • Health; and
  • Where a child lives (considering if it will make it difficult for the other parent to spend time with the child).

The law presumes that it is in a child’s best interest for their parents to jointly be involved in making major decisions. This presumption can be rebutted in certain circumstances.

The Court is also required to consider whether shared care is appropriate in cases where equal parental responsibility is ordered. Shared care is quite rare however as it requires a high level of cooperation and communication between the separated parents to function effectively for the children.

The family law legislation determines matters with the child’s best interests as the paramount consideration. The legislation also provides that children have a right to know and spend time with both of their parents irrespective of whether their parents ever lived together or not. It is important to note that under the act, children have rights, not parents. Parents should focus on tailoring arrangements to be best for their children. At Perth Family Lawyers we have significant experience in children’s matter and are able to provide our clients with accurate, succinct advice based on the individual circumstances of each client’s case.

Parenting matters can be complex and it is important that arrangements for children are tailored specifically to suit their needs.

All children are different and, accordingly, our advice at Perth Family Lawyers is based on a child’s age, maturity and personal circumstances, as well as the circumstances of our clients and the other party.

Contact Perth Family Lawyers today to receive accurate, succinct advice based on your individual circumstances.

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