The family law act provides for child support till they have attained the age of 18, unless of course a court decides otherwise. The parental responsibilities are not determined by the marital status, i.e. married or separated. The provision that guides the parental responsibility clause is pegged on the emphasis of amicable settlement in an out of court process. There is a clear understanding that court proceedings are gruesome and usually add salt to the wounds. In essence a court process should be the last resort.
There is family law advice for Australians and can be found in various family relationships centers established all around Australia since July 1 2006. At these centers the families of parties are advised on how best to come to terms with the expected legal and emotional process. The processes include arrangement regarding children, separation and relationships. The centers have a free 3 hour counseling session, but followed by a charged session, if the parties so choose to continue thereafter. Divorcing parties are supposed to comply with the pre action procedures before exploring the last option-the court proceedings. They must get a certificate from a family dispute practitioner for at least a good showing of genuine concern to solve the dispute between the two parties. And then afterwards the judge may allow for the court proceedings to commence.
The likelihood of both parties disagreeing on matters regarding children is relatively high, so there is a provision on how to handle such an issue. As any family lawyers in Brisbane would tell you, it’s then possible to apply to a federal court or the family court for a determination of each party’s responsibility for the children. These laws also apply to expatriates and they can seek legal oversea Australian divorce help, in their adopted countries. The application to the determination of the responsibility of each parent after disagreement is called parenting orders.
The parenting orders are generally categorized into four groups. The first order is the parenting and decision making order, which defines the clear parenting rules and important decision making of the child. The second order is with whom the child will live, it is clearly defined in the child custody laws and stipulates the party to have custody of the child between the two. The third order is directing the parents on how the child will communicate with the parent, he/she does not live with, and the fourth order is maintenance of the child. The application can be made by a parent, child or anyone concerned with the child such as the guardian.
On the other hand, parties may hopefully agree after following the pre action procedures advised by the family law act. This will change the dynamics and will save the parties a lot of money and stress caused by a court process. In most cases, both parties get into an agreement which be formalized by requesting the courts to formalize the agreement out of consent. The next option is to a written parenting plan which records the stipulated agreement. Its however advisable to always discuss such complex matters with a lawyer who is conversant with the legalities.