FAMILY LAW MATTERS
On separation, decisions need to be made about where the children will live, how they will spend time with the other parent, and if any specific issues need to be addressed to protect the children.
Initially it will be important to ascertain whether equal share parental responsibility is applicable in your circumstances. Spending time together with children can be in the form of daytime visits, overnight visits, and block time together. Communicating with children can be done by telephone calls, internet “webchat”, sms, and letters.
If you’re thinking of entering into a parenting arrangement for your children, you will need to consider:
- The differences between a “parenting plan” and a “consent order”, and what is best for you;
- The current research available regarding positive and negative aspects of a shared parenting arrangement for your children’s age groups;
- What is reasonably practical – e.g. do you live in close proximity to the other parent;
- What are the suggested parenting schedules for your children’s ages and the other parent’s abilities to care for the children;
- If you have concerns about the other parent’s behaviours or health, how can you best protect your children from exposure to potential harm.
Advice on these matters should be obtained to ensure you are fully informed about your children’s rights before you consider negotiations or mediation.