Separation is usually a stressful time for your children. They may experience a range of emotions that are difficult for them to deal with and talk about with you. They may behave in ways that are unusual for them. People considering separation or divorce are encouraged to use services in the community to resolve issues. Community-based services that can help you and your family include:
Reaching an agreement can offer many advantages, such as:
If you cannot reach an agreement, you may consider applying to the court for orders. In the Family Court, parties intending to apply for parenting orders must follow pre-action procedures before filing an application. Alternatively, to have an enforceable arrangement the parties can formalise the parenting arrangements by consent orders.
This means that the parties need to undertake mediation and have a Section 60I Certificate issued before commencing proceedings, unless they come within one of the exceptions. Linda Emery, our family lawyer on the Central Coast can guide you through this process and provide the most appropriate legal advice.
The decision lies with what is in the best interests of the children. The age and wishes of the children will be taken into account.
You cannot leave Australia with children without a Court Order or written consent of the other parent (which must be in a prescribed form). If you do, it can constitute an offence. You may be able to move from the area in which you live with the children, however, there are a number of factors to be taken into account. It is best to obtain legal advice before making the move as a court can order the children’s return in some circumstances.