When it come to you children and parenting you want the best advice available. McCormick Family Lawyers practice almost exclusively in family law and we have years of experience in helping parents who have separated navigate their child custody or parenting arrangements.
If you’re seeking the best advice for child custody or parenting matters book an appointment with us at our Capalaba office for an initial consultation about child custody and parenting arrangements.
Our experienced lawyers will take you through all aspects of child custody arrangements, parental responsibility, living arrangements, holidays and special occasion time spending and child’s best interest matters.
We are a local Capalaba based firm and we have been servicing the Redlands since 2017. We have experience in drafting Parenting Plans, Consent Orders and regularly appear in court in parenting matters.
Often holiday times such as Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Easter can be the most contentious between parents who have not finalised or can’t agree on child custody arrangements. Who gets the kids at Christmas is one of the most frequent questions our lawyers (and most firms) deal with every year.
While there is no right answer there are some steps that you can take early to resolve your child custody arrangements for these occasions.
- Open up communication with the other parent. Let them know your plans and find out theirs. Ask if they have given any thought to how they would like to deal with parenting arrangements for the holidays.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to try and make parenting arrangements for special occasions such as Christmas. Start early, months before Christmas.
- Get some legal advice. Know your rights, obligations and ask your lawyer about available options to deal with child custody disputes such as this or even for some direction about negotiations and communication with the other parent. While there might be a lot of firms to choose from, use a firm that has experience in family law, and particularly parenting and child custody matters. An experienced family lawyers will be able to assess your situation and circumstances and steer you in the right direction.
- Consider the practicalities of any proposed custody arrangements. Do both parents live close by? Is one parent interstate? How much travel will be involved for the children? Is it better for the children if you share the day i.e. one parent has the children in the morning and the other the afternoon or is it better for the children if you agree to alternate years i.e. Christmas Day with one parent this year, Boxing Day with the other parent and then swap the next year.
- Finally, if negotiations have stalled consider mediation and having any agreement properly documented by a lawyer who is familiar with the options and requirements under the Family Law Act. An experienced family lawyer can guide you through the mediation process, can arrange a suitable and qualified mediator and can draft your agreement into documents recognised under the Family Law Act.
Family law and child custody can be stressful and confusing enough without, the often good intentioned, advices of third parties.
Family law is one of those interesting areas of law where it feels like most people that you meet from your neighbour, best friend to the to the bloke at the pub have a story to tell of their own experience or even an anecdote about a friend’s experience with family law. While this often-unsolicited advice, is usually well meaning, it can often lead to confusion and misunderstanding of the law making it even harder to reach an agreement or to understand your rights and obligations. Most family lawyers will tell you that a large percentage of their time is spent clarifying these misconceptions.
If you have recently separated the best advice you can get is from a qualified and experienced family lawyer, and definitely not, from your neighbour or that random bloke at the pub.
In child custody matters one of the most common myths we hear is that the children can decide who they want to leave with once they reach a certain age. The simple answer in child custody matters is no they can’t. There is no fixed aged be it 12, 13, or 14 when a child can simply decide who they want to live with and how much time they will spend with a parent.
While a court will always consider a child’s view when determining custody or parenting arrangements it is only one of many factors considered. The weight that view is given is also dependent upon the child’s level of understating, maturity and other factors.
Children are not directly involved in the court process, and they don’t give evidence directly so their views would likely be expressed through a family report or even by an independent childrens lawyer (if appointed).
While a court has the power to make Orders for a child’s custody arrangements until they are 18 years of age Judges also consider whether or not it is practical to make Orders that older children may not be agreeable to or cooperate with and this is also taken into account.
The second myth we often hear about is that all lawyers are litigious and just want to go to court. This is simply not true. Our firm and our lawyers consider court to be the last resort When dealing with child custody and parenting matters this is especially so and our professional obligations ensure that we exhaust all opportunities for negotiation and mediation outside of court to reach agreement before filing and commencing proceedings.
Statistics tell us that parents who reach agreement about child custody disputes whether through negotiation or mediation are far more likely to follow that agreement and stay out of the court system than parents who had those same matters determined for them by a Judge.
Get in touch with our child custody lawyers in Capalaba to get the legal clarity you need.