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Parenting Disputes and Arrangements
The Family Law Act focusses on the rights of children. So, when it comes to parenting disputes, you have no rights, and neither does your spouse. The only rights are those of your children, who are entitled to a meaningful relationship with both parents.
Whilst the law encourages parents to come to their own agreement about parenting, it is sensible to seek early advice, so as to know what might be in the best interests of your own children.
Early advice is critical in circumstances where there are elements of risk or family violence.
Unless there are risk issues or family violence, then the Family Law Act provides that you must try to resolve your parenting dispute through Family Dispute Resolution. In Bundaberg, the two main providers are Relationships Australia and the Family Relationship Centre. If you can reach an agreement there, then it will usually be documented in the form of what is known as a Parenting Plan – whilst not binding in a Court, in most cases a plan will suffice. A Parenting Plan can be made into a Court order, provided both parties consent to sign further documents.
Most parenting disputes will be resolved without the need for Court. Often, the best solutions are found by parents outside of Court through mediation.
Where parents are unable to come to an agreement about plans for their children themselves, or there are exceptional circumstances, you may need to go to Court for decisions to be made. No matter what your situation, Chris Rowe can help you achieve the best outcome.