Child Custody Mediation Services in Pakenham

When it comes to separation, we believe children should be prioritised during the separation process. We understand that the nature of matters involving children is incredibly delicate and extremely important. Once both parties reach an agreement, we can advise you about parenting plans and child custody arrangements, including arranging mediation.

Experienced Child Custody Lawyers

Duffy & Simon can provide a range of legal services to help with parenting issues. We approach all family law matters involving children with the utmost sensitivity and the children’s best interest as the primary consideration.

Parenting Arrangements, Custody Agreements & Court Orders

Our expert lawyers provide realistic and insightful advice on matters about parenting, child support and issues involving family violence. For instance, we have experience in a range of situations, whether both parents reach an agreement, can’t reach an agreement or can’t take care of any children from the relationship. We make sure that the safety and welfare of the child or children involved is prioritised. Their rights, as well as their present and future needs, are considered throughout the process.

We know that every family law case has different needs. Our family lawyers can help figure out which parenting or custody arrangement best works for your family. We can also advise you about various parenting arrangements. Parties are advised to try and resolve the child custody dispute through informal arrangements such as mediation, negotiation or even counselling. Duffy & Simon lawyers can also help with these procedures.

We can assist with creating an arrangement that works best for your situation. This arrangement will make sure the child’s wellbeing is prioritised, safeguarding them from harm and abuse. Our lawyers can discuss the living arrangements of the child in relation to both parties. We can also provide advice about how the child will maintain a relationship with both parents and which parent would be the primary carer.

In cases where both parties can’t reach an agreement regarding the child or children, then a Family Court Order may be needed. Our lawyers can provide guidance through the legal process and represent you in court. We can also help with the preparation of any required court documents.

Child Support

Child support can be a long and challenging process for both parties involved. We can help with and advise you on your rights to child support payment and responsibilities regarding custody matters. Additionally, we can help and guide you through child support agreements, and variation and dispute assessments.

Family Violence

Family violence can take many forms, including physical, emotional, verbal and sexual abuse. As experienced family lawyers, we make sure that the welfare and safety of the concerned party or child is considered throughout the process. Extra measures will be taken if a person is not safe and is seeking protection immediately. An intervention order can be obtained and further safety measures implemented. It is recommended that you understand your rights and obligations when applying for an order. We can inform you of these as well.

Adoption

Adoption can be a lengthy and emotional process. In situations where neither parent is able to provide care for the child, adoption may be considered. Adoptions allow non-biological carers to obtain the same rights and responsibilities as the child’s birth parents. There are restrictions on who can adopt. If you wish to seek advice regarding adoption, we can assist with the adoption process or obtaining a Family Court Order.

Speak With Us Today

Our family law office is currently based in Pakenham. If you want to work with respectful, experienced, and understanding family lawyers, contact us on (03) 9069 4200.

  • Parenting Arrangements (Custody)
  • Child Support
  • Family Violence
  • Adoption
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Frequently Asked Questions

Are children required to live with parents equally following separation?

The short answer is no -the Family Law Act 1975 provides for parents to have equal shared parental responsibility for children of a relationship and to continue to make joint decisions regarding the children’s long-term development and welfare. That responsibility does not equate to equal time between the parents of a child or children of a relationship.

In considering parenting arrangements for children following separation the “best interests of the child” is the primary consideration.

What are the Best Interests of the Child?

When determining parenting arrangements and matters relating to the care and welfare of a child, the court is directed to a number of factors including:

  1. Protecting a child from harm;
  2. Depending on the child’s age and level of maturity, the child’s wishes;
  3. The right of the child to maintain a relationship with both parents;
  4. The right of the child to maintain a relationship with other important people in the child’s life;
  5. The right of the child to be parented in a way that is consistent with the child’s present and future needs.

How old must my child be before they can make their own decisions?

There is no clear answer to this question. The best interests of the child remain the paramount consideration in parenting matters and the wishes of the children will become more important the older and more mature the child is.

What if my child is at risk of harm when in the care of the other parent?

Protecting children from harm is a primary consideration in relation to parenting matters. Measures and actions are available to parents concerned with the parenting capacity of the other parent and their ability to protect a child from harm.