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Coutts offers expert legal representation for individuals dealing with parenting matters. Our dedicated team includes an Accredited Family Law Specialist who is highly experienced in handling the intricacies of Family Law cases. We understand the sensitivity and complexity of Family Law matters, and we are committed to protecting the rights and well-being of our clients with compassion and precision.

Luisa Gaetani

Luisa Gaetani
Partner & Accredited Family Law Specialist

Book Your Parenting Matter Consultation Now

Parenting Matters

Under the Family Law Act, all couples are required to attempt to resolve parenting matters outside of court. The Act requires that all parties attend mediation with a Family Dispute Resolution service before they can go to court. Mediation is an opportunity for parents to come together and attempt to reach an agreement about what parenting is going to look like post-separation. Topics that are discussed during mediation include living arrangements for the child when the child will spend time with the other parent, changeover, travel, education and extracurricular activities. The parties are assisted by an independent third person, who will keep the parties on track to discuss issues relating to the children only.

There are some exceptions to this rule, mainly if there are concerns for a person’s safety. It is also very important to note that the Family Law Act says that all decisions that are made about children must be to uphold the best interests of the child.

Under the Family Law Act, lawyers need to look at lots of information prior to assessing what is right for children, however, the main priority is always what is in the children’s best interests. When determining what is in a child’s best interests, the following things are generally assessed:

  • The benefit of the child/ren having a meaningful relationship with both parents.
  • Ensuring the children are prevented from harm/family violence or risk either physically or psychologically.
  • The effect of any change in living arrangements on the child/ren.
  • A history of family violence in either household.
  • The lifestyle, maturity and background of the child/ren and the child/ren’s parents.
  • Each parent’s capacity to facilitate a meaningful relationship between the child/ren and the other parent.
  • Depending on the age of the child/ren, their wishes can also be taken into consideration.

How can Coutts help?

Trust our experienced Parenting Lawyers to navigate you through this challenging process with compassion and expertise. Contact us today for comprehensive assistance tailored to your unique situation.

What to Expect with Coutts Lawyers

Step 1: Initial Contact

Reach out to Coutts Lawyers via our website, phone, or in person. Briefly describe your matter.

Step 2: Consultation Appointment

Schedule and attend a meeting with a Coutts lawyer to discuss the specifics of your matter and desired outcomes.

Step 3: Information & Legal Advice

Share all related documents and information. Your lawyer will review everything, clarify aspects as needed, and then advise on the best action course.

Step 4: Action Plan Development

Based on the advice, an appropriate action plan will be formulated. This may involve communication, documentation processes, or further legal steps.

Step 5: Implementation

Execute the action plan, addressing a range of legal scenarios as necessary.

Step 6: Resolution & Closure

Navigate towards a resolution, with the path determined by the nature of the matter. Your Lawyer will outline any final actions or considerations.

Book Your Parenting Matter Consultation Now

Introducing Luisa

Your Compassionate Lawyer

Meet Luisa, a Partner at Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers, and an Accredited Family Law specialist. Luisa is the head of our esteemed Family Law team. Boasting over a decade of expertise, Luisa blends sensitivity with practicality, forging deep connections and trust with her clients. Her reputation as a foremost authority in Criminal and Family law is well-deserved.

Luisa Gaetani
Luisa Gaetani

Connect with Luisa Today

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Parenting Matters FAQ’s

After separation, the Family Law Act requires parents to attempt to resolve parenting arrangements out of court. Mediation through a Family Dispute Resolution service is mandatory unless safety concerns arise. All decisions should prioritise the child’s best interests, considering each parent’s capacity and the child’s needs and wishes.

If parents can’t reach an agreement through mediation due to it being unsuitable or unsuccessful, a Section 60I certificate is issued, allowing them to make an application to the Court. The Judge will, after considering various factors such as the child’s and parents’ lifestyles, maturity and background, then make a decision that is in the best interests of the child.

The Court initially considers whether equal time with each parent is in the child’s best interests and is reasonably practicable. If not feasible, the Court assesses whether substantial and significant time with each parent is more suitable, accounting for weekends, holidays, and significant occasions. In situations involving family violence, one parent may be assigned sole parental responsibility.

The Court initially considers whether equal time with each parent is in the child’s best interests and reasonably practicable. If not, the Court assesses if substantial and significant time with each parent is suitable and feasible, incorporating weekends, holidays, daily routines, and significant occasions, according to Section 65DAA of the Family Law Act 1975.

Coutts’ Family Law Lawyers use our extensive experience to assist parents in reaching solutions that serve the children’s best interests, providing tailored approaches to meet individual family needs, and ensuring optimal outcomes in disputes regarding parenting arrangements post-separation.

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