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Separation is often a stressful time for both parties. Alongside dealing with your own emotions during a particularly difficult time, parties with children have to make arrangements for the care of the child or children, as the case may be. Child custody, as it often referred to, concerns the resolution of parenting arrangements for children. This involves reaching agreement about with which parent the children will live with and the time that they will spend with the other parent during the school terms. It often extends to agreements about school holidays and special occasions throughout the year such as Christmas, Easter and Birthdays.

Considerations to keep in mind when negotiating an agreement about child custody:

  1. Separation is stressful on children too and each child may react in different ways to separation or divorce. The child’s age, maturity, personality and characteristics are some factors that will no doubt determine their reaction.
  2. It is important to remember that cooperation of the parties, particularly in the presence and hearing of the children, can be beneficial to the child’s reaction.
  3. On the same token, conflict between the parents can have a detrimental affect on children.
  4. When children are supported and encouraged to maintain positive relationships with both parents, grandparents and other relatives, they are more likely to adapt to the changes.
  5. They will worry less if you can agree about what is going to happen and explain why to them.

If you are having difficulty reaching an agreement or perhaps you and your ex are unable to effectively communicate about child custody, you may wish to seek the assistance of a professional.

A Family Lawyer experienced in child custody rights will be able to provide you with professional advice as to the possible outcomes in your particular facts and circumstances. Remember every family is different and your lawyer can provide you with customised options that are suitable to you and your family.

If you reach an agreement, a Family Lawyer can assist you to formalise the agreement.

Navigating child custody laws can be difficult and we recommend seeking independent legal advice from a Family Law Practitioner who will be able to assist and advise you about the Child Custody Laws and Child Custody Rights as they would apply to your personal set of circumstances

For more information on child custody laws, click to visit our page on Parenting and Custody Disputes.

You can also contact us on 1800 300 170 or email us at


Family law situations can be complex and sometimes they can involve serious issues.  Information outlined is proposed to provide general guidance only. Due to the seriousness of legal matters as well as the uniqueness of your individual situation, professional advice should be sought. For advice, please contact one of our Family Lawyers.