Mediation Services and Custody Disputes Lawyers
Family Breakdown: Who Gets the Kids?
In determining what living arrangements and visitation rights are best for the children in a family breakdown the court will take into consideration a range of factors such as:
- the nature of the relationship between the child and each parent, as well as other people
- the effect of any changes to the child’s circumstances including being separated from parents or siblings
- practical difficulties and the expense of a child having contact with a parent
- capacity to provide for the needs of the child including emotional and mental needs
- the child’s wishes
- the child’s maturity, sex and background, plus any other characteristics the court deems relevant
- is the child in danger, psychologically or physically?
Parenting orders are not final. Changing them requires consent from both parties. If you can’t agree the court will need evidence that circumstances have changed enough to warrant new orders.
When drafting parenting orders you may want to leave yourself some flexibility in case circumstances change. It may save you applying to the court to have the orders changed for a slight variation that both parties are amenable to.