Steps to Start Your Child Custody Journey in Victoria

Close up image parent gently holding hands of child showing protection support expressing care and love.

Finding the right child custody arrangements can be challenging. But finding a co-parenting solution that is in the best interests of the child or children is essential for their wellbeing. The team at Melbourne Law Studio has put together this short guide to help you on your first steps. 

How Custody Works

Child custody is a term used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent or guardian and a child in that person’s care. It typically encompasses arrangements for who the child is to live with, spends time with and communicates with. Agreeing on child custody arrangements following a separation is important for providing your children with the support and stability they need. 

Depending on the circumstances, it can involve informal written agreements or formal court orders. Either way, the goal is to establish a constructive co-parenting relationship that provides children with the care, safety and security they need. The Family Court prioritises a child’s best interests in all legal matters related to co-parenting and child custody.

Using a Child Custody Agreement

A parenting or child custody agreement involves recording agreed upon arrangements for looking after children. It’s a good idea to seek advice from a family lawyer for help drafting an agreement that is effective and fair for your unique circumstances. Some key considerations include:

  • Arrangements for day-to-day care
  • How costs related to children are managed
  • Parenting philosophies, e.g., regarding schooling, health, religion, and so on
  • Arrangements for holidays, birthdays and special occasions

While some parents are able to manage via informal parenting arrangements, there is always a risk of future conflict. By having a written record, everyone can be clear on what the agreed upon arrangements are. 

Resolving Disputes Over Child Custody Arrangements

If parents can’t agree on arrangements for children after separation, family lawyers can mediate and help parents come to an agreeable decision or compromise. If parents can’t agree, the family law court will make a decision based on the best interests of the child in accordance with the Family Law Act.

Child Custody Lawyers Melbourne

When you’re looking for child custody lawyers Melbourne and Victoria-based parents can count on, contact the experienced team at Melbourne Law Studio. We can help mediate disputes and guide you through how parenting arrangements work and the process of determining an ideal custody agreement. Call us today on 03 9021 1421 or contact us online.

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