Contact with Children

Our family team understand that the well-being of your children is your priority.

Because your children are so precious, disagreements surrounding arrangements for children on separation or divorce will always be difficult and painful, so we provide timely, constructive advice designed to help minimise the time, cost and stress involved in reaching satisfactory outcomes.

A negotiated agreement between a child’s parents about where the child should live (residence) and when, where and how the other parent will see them (contact) is always best. Mediation services are available to assist in achieving this and we can make appropriate referrals. If an agreement of this kind not possible, you may have to make an application to the court.

The court can make permanent, temporary, interim or emergency orders regarding contact with children: These include:

  • a residence order, which says where a child should live. The order can be in favour of more than one person, stipulating how long the child should spend with each (shared residence)
  • a contact order, which regulates telephone calls, visits, overnight stays, weekends or holidays with the absent parent
  • a prohibited steps order, which is used where one parent objects to something that the other parent is doing
  • a specific issue order, which is used where parents are unable to agree on a specific aspect of their child’s upbringing such as where your child should go to school.

The most important issue for the court in making decisions about such orders is the best interests of the child, so it will take into account:

  • the child’s wishes and feelings
  • the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs, and the ability of each parent to meet them
  • the effect of any change in circumstances
  • the child’s age, sex and background
  • any mental or physical abuse

For more information on our contact with children legal services, please contact us.