At STOLaw, we provide legal advice in most areas of law. We have a large, experienced team of lawyers who will listen to you and help you with your case.
The decision to separate is often hard enough, but when you have children both parents are faced with difficult decisions that often need to be made quickly. Understandably, when you are faced with an emotional situation such as separation it may be hard to make those decisions without engaging someone neutral to help you make the most appropriate choices.
The welfare and ongoing care of your children is paramount and should not be made lightly. Some of the decisions you will need to address include, who will the children live with and when will the other parent spend time with the children (and when and where will it happen). Other decisions affecting the child’s welfare will include schooling, after school care, extracurricular activities, religious upbringing, holiday care and financial support of the children. It is obviously in the child’s best interests if parents can put their emotions aside and work together to amicably sort out things like Christmas, birthdays and holiday care.
If you have separated and you and your ex partner are unable to agree on what will happen with the children we can apply for interim arrangements to be heard in the Courts before a Judge. The Judge will put in place some temporary arrangements for the care and well being of the children until he makes a final decision on the case. Interim orders are usually decided within a short time after an application is made, and they are decided on the basis of written material submitted by both parties.
If the separation has been bitter you should seek advice as soon as possible to ensure your wishes regarding the children are taken into consideration. Delaying seeing a Family Lawyer could leave you in a situation that may not be altered for a number of months.
When assessing children’s matters, the fundamental principle that the Court will consider is what is in the best interests of the child.
A Court will take into consideration the wishes of the child when assessing what is in his or her best interests. Generally speaking, the older and more mature the child, the greater the emphasis will be given as to the wishes expressed by the child.
When determining what is in the best interest of the child, the Court will also look at the nature of a child’s relationship with each of its parents, the parents’ attitude to their parenting responsibilities, the impact of changes in the child’s circumstances and the need to protect children from abuse of any kind.
Please contact the Family Law team or complete the form on our contact page and we will have someone contact you.