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Interim proceedings allow the Court to make temporary child custody Orders that are effective until the matter can finally be determined. An application for interim Orders cannot be filed without an Application for final Orders. At the interim hearing, some of the issues the Court may consider include who the child should live with until the final hearing, whether the child can travel overseas and whether the child can relocate to another city.

The mere fact that the children are currently in a well settled environment does not prevent the Court from making a child custody Order for parents to spend time with the children. Rather than preserving the status quo, at an interim parenting hearing, the main objective of is for both parents to have meaningful involvement in their children’s’ lives. Child custody law is in favour of substantial involvement of both parents in their children’s lives including both parental responsibility and time spent with the children. This rule is subject to the need to protect the children and provided that it is in the best interests of each child. The Court will consider whether equal time or significant involvement by both parents in the children’s lives is appropriate and practical.

At an interim hearing, the Court is usually unable to make findings of fact and will only make such findings of if there is clear evidence; usually from an independent third party. Evidence is adduced by affidavit and witnesses will rarely be put to cross-examination at an interim hearing.

For more information, visit our page on Parenting and Custody Disputes.

For advice about Child Custody Proceedings 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.