It can be difficult, but decisions must be made. Who do your children live with? Do they live with both parents equally (e.g. week about) or should they live with one parent most of the time and spend the rest of the time with the other parent?
Who gets to decide what school your children will go to? Or should they change to another school? Do both parents have a say in this and other decisions that will have a significant effect upon the children’s long-term welfare?
If separating parents are unable to agree upon these issues, then Family Relationship Counselling can assist.
Alternatively, we can assist you by taking these issues up on your behalf with your ex-partner or their lawyer to reach an agreement. If you are at loggerheads and mediation does not assist, we can apply to the Court for Orders and a determination about what should happen.
We can also apply urgently to the Court for Orders where we consider you are in physical or emotional danger; where there is family violence; or where a child has been taken away by your ex-partner (the other parent) and you are unaware of their whereabouts.
Kidnapping or ‘Holding Over’ can be a very serious concern for many parents. If you are worried about the other parent spending time with the children and not returning them to you as agreed, we can assist you by negotiating some Temporary, Interim or Final Orders so that the other parent’s failure to return the children to you would be in breach of these orders. If you find yourself in this situation where the other parent refuses to return your children to you, we can assist by filing an urgent application in the Court for interim orders and for what is referred to as a Recovery Order.
It is important to consider how the children will be looked after. For example, if your children are living with you most of the time, will this affect your ability to have full time employment? Can you afford to support them financially? Talking about this is the first step. Have you discussed this with the other parent and asked them for assistance? If the other parent is refusing to assist financially you can apply to the Child Support Agency for an assessment. We can help you negotiate a Child Support Agreement so that you don’t have to deal with the Child Support Agency.