Children’s Matters

Children’s best interests

The overriding principle in child-related cases is what is in the best interests of the child or children.

There are a range of different factors that a court will consider when determining what is in a child’s best interests.

There is no ‘hard and fast’ rule, as each child is different and each set of circumstances can be markedly different from the next – for this reason, the courts have to have regard to many issues when making decisions about children, and give careful consideration to the amount of weight to allocate to those issues.

These can include:

  • Where the child is living
  • Who the child is spending time with
  • What are arrangements for holidays and special occasions?
  • What are the schooling, sporting and extracurricular arrangements?
  • What are the financial arrangements for support of the child?
  • What are the child’s views as to any care or parenting arrangement?
  • Whether there are any safety or risk concerns with respect to the child

Children have all the rights and parents have obligations and responsibilities with respect to their children.

While the courts consider it important for children to have a meaningful relationship with both of their parents, this must be balanced against the need to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of the children are protected – whether from family violence, child abuse, neglect or other risk factors.

Understandably, allegations of violence, abuse and/or neglect are treated extremely seriously and prioritised by the courts where at all possible.

What sort of child-related cases can we provide legal advice and representation with?

Our family law team can assist with a variety of children’s matters, such as but not limited to:

  • Parenting plans and orders
  • Consent orders
  • Relocation
  • Recovery of children
  • Travel and passport applications
  • Family Law Watchlist applications
  • Grandparent applications
  • Matters of family violence, child abuse and neglect

We will endeavour to take a conciliatory approach in parenting matters in order to reach a swift, less-adversarial resolution and to reduce the child’s or children’s exposure to any conflict between parents. In so doing, we have access to and can offer our clients the services of the best mediators, counsellors, dispute resolution practitioners and family report writers. If negotiation is unsuccessful or not appropriate, we are not afraid to litigate to seek orders in court that are in the best interests of the child or children, and will work closely with the best counsel to achieve a client’s desired outcomes.

Contact Culshaw Miller Badenoch Lawyers today to book an initial consultation or make a general enquiry. Our Melbourne lawyers are well-equipped to assist you with all aspects of family law children’s matters.