Before you can commence child related proceedings in the Family Court, it is compulsory for all parties to attend Family Dispute Resolution (with limited exceptions). If you are unable to do this or if the circumstances are urgent, you may be able to obtain an exemption.
When the Court is determining parenting matters, the best interests of the child are the paramount consideration.
The Court has the power to make various types of Orders concerning children, including:
- which parent the child lives with;
- the frequency and duration of time the child spends with each parent, and communication arrangements;
- whether both parents have joint or equal shared parental responsibility to make major decision in relation to a child, or whether there are
- circumstances in which it is in the child’s best interests for one party to have sole parental responsibility;
- in specific circumstances, what financial support is appropriate for a child.
The Court can make orders concerning any other aspect of the care, welfare or development of a child, including matters concerning religion, education, extracurricular activities, medical treatment, travel and other issues.
These Orders can be made on an interim or final basis, on determination by the Court or by consent.