Family Lawyers in Melbourne

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Family Lawyers For Issues Related To Children

 

Children are the most vulnerable party in the whole scenario of separation and divorce. The Family Law of Australia takes enough consideration of their care and provision. The first concern of any parent when they separate or divorce is how to provide to their child, how to share the child custody and what rights can be claimed out of financial settlements. As parents, all the partners wish to make this transition as smooth as possible to the children and part on amicable terms so that children can continue to enjoy both parents’ care and attention.

 

Child Support Agency & Child Support Agreement

 

At first, Child Support Agency assesses the situation and help arrive at a child support agreement, with this, the onus lies on the adoptive or legal parents to fulfill the parental responsibilities.  Same sex partners have the same rights and responsibilities as the legal parents towards their adopted child.

The parents have option to choose either Limited Child Support Agreement or Binding Child Support Agreement. Limited Child Support Agreement should be in writing, signed by both the partners and the amount assigned for provision and care of the child should be at least what the Child Support Agency has advised.

 

During this process, lot of difference of opinions might arise between the partners, failing to arrive at any mutual, amicable arrangements. Family Lawyers of Melbourne can be asked for intervention as legal advisors and mediate between the partners and help arrange best possible care and after divorce support to their child.

 

Binding Child Support Agreement must have legal advisers at both the sides who sign and certify their advice to both the parties; the copy of which is included in the Child Support Agreement. The amount of provision and care need not be in line with the suggested amount by Child Support Agency.

 

If couple feel there are changes required in the Child Support Agreement after its drafting, they must terminate it by entering a new agreement or agreeing in writing or by court order or notional assessment or if the agreement is more than 3 years old you can terminate it to simple agreement.

 

In cases of child abuse, juvenile abduction, parental neglect etc., the specialized Melbourne lawyers can seek court intervention and protection on your behalf. Even the well-wishers from family can participate and be a party in parenting order.

Child Custody

 

The Court of Law makes sure the upbringing of the child is not compromised in any case. Depending upon the circumstances the court may decide to give Joint Custody or Sole Custody of the child to both or either of the parents. It is always viewed favorable that the child has access to both the parents. Physical custody of the child can also be shared based on mutual agreements.

 

If both the partners are not able to come to an agreeable conclusion, the child custody lawyer can represent you in the Family Court and present your case. And the court decides what it deems best for the child.

 

Surrogacy

 

Having become a parent by surrogacy method puts you in a lot of legal things to deal with. Only when you are recognized as a legal parent, you can take decisions on your child’s education, stay, overseas travel, medical treatments etc. To become a legal parent, you should have Parentage Order from the court.

 

There are a huge difference how commercial and altruistic surrogacy cases are dealt with in Australia. In case of commercial surrogacy Commonwealth, State & territory judiciary plays a role in deciding legal parents where as in altruistic surrogacy only state & territory judiciary takes part in deciding legal parents.

 

In altruistic surrogacy arrangements, though the biological parents are not legal parents, they can be declared as legal parents if they get Parentage Order from the court. Whereas, in commercial surrogacy arrangement, biological parents cannot become legal parents. Only if the mother is single, the sperm donor can get a declaration that he is a parent of the child.

 

The laws in surrogacy matter are very complex and time consuming in working out. A specialized lawyer in Melbourne, a Reproductive Lawyer can prove to clarify the laws and getting necessary declarations.

 

Paternity Testing & Fraud

 

During child maintenance and support settlements the parentage might become an issue. Sometimes a parent might doubt and/ or deny being a biological parent to the child and deny paying for the child support. In such cases, court orders for paternity test. If the paternity test confirms the same, the partner can move the court for recovery of money spent on child support.

 

There are cases of paternity fraud where a mother claims parentage of a person which he denies are resolved by DNA test of the person to prove that he is not the biological father of the children he is raising and supporting.

 

There are authorized laboratories from Family Law Regulations for conducting DNA test for paternity establishment. Since the DNA test is costly the court decides if the person alone must bear the expense or both the parties should pay for the paternity test. The test results can be expected from 6-8 weeks. Depending on the report, the court issues its declaration regarding the child support. A copy of court order should be shared with the Child Support Agency.

 

Adoption

 

The adoptive partners should be either married or in a de facto relationship to be eligible to adopt a child. Adoption is a legal process where the legal parental responsibility of biological parents cease to exist and adoptive parents are recognized as legally responsible for the child’s welfare.

 

In such cases where a step parent wants to adopt the child of his/her partner from previous marriage, he/she should get Parentage Order or formally adopt the child –  both should be approved by the Family Court. On approval, the step parent will have the same parental right as the biological parent.

 

Children’s Lawyers in Melbourne are skilled to handle such cases depending on the familial circumstances and what arrangement suits the child best.

 

Child Abduction

 

If one parent takes away the child without another’s permission; it becomes an offense and your family lawyer from Melbourne can assist you immediately by taking it to the Family Court and seeking legal assistance.

 

If the child is taken away from the parent to another location within Australia, the family lawyer gets the Recovery Order from the authorities for the federal and state police to search the child and hand him/her over to the concerned parent.

 

If the child has a threat of being taken outside Australia, PACE alert can be issued by the help of a specialized juvenile abduction lawyer. If, the child has already been taken outside Australia, an expert family lawyer in International Law can leverage his expertise in getting the child back to the country by asking the intervention of Hague Convention and/ or any other means of legal involvement.

 

Juvenile Adjudication

 

According Australian Law, a person between 10-17 years is considered as juvenile except in Queensland. In Queensland juvenile is a person between 10-16 years of age. The law deals differently with adults and juveniles in case of offence. A person below 10 years is not considered as offender and legally not held responsible for the offence. Most of the juveniles grow out of it and become a responsible citizen.