Parenting Arrangements

My ex and I have come to an agreement about parenting arrangements for our children. How can you help?

If you and your ex-spouse have been able to reach an agreement about appropriate parenting arrangements for your children, we can assist you by formalising the arrangement in one of the following ways:

1. Filing for Consent Orders in the Family Court; or

2. Preparing a Parenting Plan.

Our team of family lawyers will guide you through the process and provide you with carefully considered advice as to your options.

What happens if we can’t agree?

Family separation can be an emotional and stressful time for you personally and as a parent. It is often difficult to reach an agreement with your ex-spouse about appropriate parenting arrangements for your children, particularly when both parties’ emotions are running high. However, it is usually best for everyone involved if parents can come to their own agreement, focusing on the needs and best interests of the children. 

Sometimes, it will not be possible or appropriate for you to negotiate an agreement with your ex-spouse, for example if there are circumstances of urgency or you hold fears for your safety or the safety of your children due to family violence.

When you contact us for assistance the first step is for one of our experienced family lawyers to meet with you to discuss the circumstances of your family and the family breakdown.

Depending on your circumstances, we may recommend that the parties participate in a mediation (also known as Family Dispute Resolution). Often, with the assistance of an impartial mediator (and independent legal representatives if you wish) parents can successfully reach an agreement about how they will care for and make decisions about their children in the future.

Other times, we may be able to negotiate proposals for parenting arrangements through written correspondence with the other party’s solicitor.

If agreement is reached through negotiation, we can formalise your agreement by way of Consent Orders or a Parenting Plan.

If mediation is not appropriate in your case or you are unable to resolve your parenting dispute through negotiation, we can assist you to file an Application for parenting orders in the Federal Circuit Court or the Family Court.

When making determinations in parenting matters, the Court considers the best interests of the children as paramount. 

It is important to remember that Court proceedings can be settled by the parties at any time during the process and, in our experience, many parenting matters are able to be settled without the need for a Final Hearing.

What’s the first step?

Whatever your circumstances, feel free to contact our office to make an appointment with one of our experienced family lawyers. Your lawyer will discuss any questions you may have in relation to your separation and the future living arrangements and custody of your children. We will listen to your concerns and provide you with considered and practical advice in relation to your options moving forward.

We do NOT require you to pay any funds into our Trust account prior to your initial consultation. We offer a flat fee of $275.00 for your initial consultation which includes our written letter of advice to you following the consultation.

Eligible for Legal Aid?

McDonald Johnson Lawyers are registered on the panel of family lawyers who qualify to do legal aid work. If you think you may qualify for a grant of legal aid you can make an application directly with the Legal Aid office and nominate McDonald Johnson Lawyers as your chosen solicitor. If you are successful, we will automatically be notified of the grant and provided with your contact details.  Alternatively, please feel free to contact our office and we can assist you through the process by submitting an application on your behalf online.

Not sure if you qualify for Legal Aid?

If you are unsure about whether you may be eligible for legal aid in your parenting matter the Legal Aid Website has a means test indicator which you can use as a guide to assess your eligibility.