Childrens Issues

Melbourne Child Custody Lawyers that Listen

How do I get custody of or time with my children?

In the unfortunate situation of parents separating, one of the first questions they usually ask is “How do I get custody of or time with my children?” There is no easy answer to this question, but there are some basic things you need to know.

It is possible for parents to work out custody and access arrangements for their children without going to court. Some parents are able to make an agreement between themselves, some get the help of a mediator or family counsellor, and some need the help of a family lawyer and may go to court. It’s important to keep in mind that parents do not have an automatic right to spend time with their children. Instead, arrangements are made based on what’s in the best interests of the minor.

Parents who may be prevented from spending time with their children are usually those who have been accused of abuse or have engaged in severe family violence. However, aside from extreme cases, it is rare for parents not to be given some time with their children.

The law surrounding Child Custody

The law presumes that when parents separate or divorce, each parent will have ‘parental responsibility’ for the wellbeing of their children. This means that separated parents must make major decisions (e.g. decisions about health, education, religion) in consultation with each other. Parental responsibility has nothing to do with how much time a parent spends with their children. It does not matter if a parent was never married to, or has ever even lived with, the child’s other guardian.

While the public still refers to ‘custody’ and ‘access’ or ‘residence’ and ‘contact’ when talking about their children, the Family Law Act now uses the terms ‘parenting orders’ (who the minor will live with and who they will spend time with) and ‘parental responsibility’ (who gets to make major decisions about the minor).

How our lawyers can help

The family lawyers at Calley Rajah Family Lawyers are able to guide you through the process and advise you about your rights and entitlements which are specific to your circumstances. Each member of our team carefully considers the best outcomes for our clients, and their family, and will hopefully be able to reach an agreement that is the best one available for all involved parties. Our child custody lawyers have helped parents in Mordialloc, Brighton, Mornington, Mt Eliza and the greater Melbourne area.

Specialising in family law, our team have helped many clients through some of the most difficult and trying cases. Contact us at Calley Rajah Family Lawyers by calling (03) 9781 4222, and let’s start figuring out the best way forward, together.