A Guide On Parenting Responsibility During Divorce

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Parental responsibility is a vital concern for most divorcing couples. Under Australian law, divorcing or separated couples have equal shared parenting responsibilities. As such, they are required to make joint decisions regarding their children's education, health, religion, and legal issues such as adoption or visa application. Read this excerpt to learn more about parenting responsibility during the divorce process. 

Consent Orders

In an ideal situation, the divorcing couple should create an agreement detailing how they will raise their kids. This agreement is filed in court and henceforth known as a consent order. Preferably, you should seek independent legal advice before signing the consent order. The contract becomes null and void if one party coerces the other into signing. Besides, both partners should be of sound mind when drafting and signing the agreement. The family court can nullify the agreement if the judge rules that the contract is not in the best interests of the children. A consent order can cover the following: 

  • The time that the kids will spend with each parent; you could also state how the kids will spend school holidays and weekends.
  • How you will contribute cash to cater for basic needs, education, and health.
  • Close relatives that will have access to the kids.
  • How to make decisions that affect the welfare of their kids. 

Parenting Orders

Parties that cannot agree when drafting the consent orders must attend a family dispute resolution conference. During the conference, a court-appointed mediator will attempt to resolve contentious issues. If the mediation process does not bear fruit, your family lawyers will seek the family court's intervention. Typically, each party will make submissions explaining how they would want to raise their kids. The court will then provide parenting orders. Couples that do not agree with the court ruling can nullify the parenting orders by filing consent orders. 

Sole Custody 

There are cases when you would want sole custody of your kids. It happens if you think that your ex is a threat to your kids. For instance, could be he or she has physically or sexually abused the kids in the past. The judge will evaluate your case and assess the children's best interests when making a ruling. For example, he or she could hand you the rights to make exclusive decisions. Alternatively, the judge could allow supervised visitations.

As a rule, you should work with an experienced family lawyer when seeking sole custody, parenting, or consent orders. The lawyer should have an excellent reputation and positive reviews from previous clients. Besides, he or she should have friendly terms and pricing. 

To learn more about family law, speak with a lawyer in your area.