Almost invariably, the mother, father and ‘significant others’ will appreciate the need to put the child(ren)’s physical and emotional needs first. Issues involving who a child ‘lives with’ (formerly called ‘custody’ and ‘residence’), ‘spends time with’ (formerly ‘access’ and ‘contact’), specific issues (relating to long term and day-to-day decisions) can often be hotly contested issues between separated parents and ‘significant others’. This is where Parramatta City Legal can help.
Although it sounds intricate and involved, which it very well can be, we are always conscious of the highly sensitive nature of such issues. Our staff make a concerted effort to ensure that your experience with us is as least distressing as possible. To this end, we value understanding, patience and compassion. We are able to guide you through a vast array of parenting matters ranging from settling issues as to the nature and frequency of who the child ‘spends time with’ to obtaining an urgent Recovery Over from the Court when a child has been abducted.
Recent changes to the Family Law Act 1975 have meant that the law now encourages equal parenting between both mother and father and modifications in the way that the Court handles applications. In determining what is in the child’s best interests, the Court now has regard to 2 primary considerations:
1. The benefit to the child/ren of having a meaningful relationship with both of the child/ren’s parents.
2. The need to protect the child/ren from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.
In balancing the two considerations, it is mandatory on the Court to have greater regard to the need to shield the child/ren from any family violence or risk of harm.
When we carry out your instructions we will be mindful of guiding you through this revolutionary era of Family Law.