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A revamp to the Family Law system? How a Child Custody Lawyer’s role may change because of proposed reform

The family law system has been a subject of scrutiny over the years. The legal framework is made up of specialists (e.g., child custody lawyers) who continue to work within a unique area of law that has a substantial effect on an individual’s family structure. With the recent merger of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia in 2021, the now Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (‘FCFCOA’) was formed to reduce the complex legal processes arising from the dissolution of a relationship. [...]  READ MORE →

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Asking a family law lawyer about parentage testing

A family law lawyer can explain parentage testing as a form of genetic testing used to confirm the paternity of a child. A family law lawyer can advise you of the presumption of paternity that operates in the Family Law Act. In various sections of the Act, parentage will arise from circumstances such as:

  • Marriage (s 69P)
  • Cohabitation (s 69Q)
  • Registration of birth (s 69R)
  • A court finding (s 69S)
  • A signed acknowledgement of paternity (s 69T); or
  • Artificial conception (s 60H)

However, if the paternity of a child is in doubt then only when it presents as an issue to the Court will a parentage testing procedure be required. For example if there is rebuttable proof on the balance of probabilities then, as occurred in G v H, a father who refused to undergo a parentage test was subsequently issued with an order. Due to the personalised and invasive nature of a claim as such, a family law lawyer can advise that generally an order should not be made so that an alleged parent can satisfy personal doubts as to a child’s paternity. [...]  READ MORE →

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Changing Parenting Orders And The Principle Of Rice & Asplund

Under section 65D(2) of the Family Law Act 1975, a Court can make an order to discharge or vary a parenting order. A child custody lawyer will be able to inform you that despite this power, there was an important principle set out in the case of Rice & Asplund [1978] FamCA 84. This case ruled that a Court should avoid changing parenting arrangements unless there has been a significant change in circumstances or new material facts to justify such a “serious step”. Seeking advice from a child custody lawyer will help analyse the applicability of this test in the event that you may want to vary a prior parenting order. [...]  READ MORE →

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Reaching parenting agreements with family law lawyers out of court

In addition to family dispute resolution (FDR), there are a variety of alternate ways that arrangements for parenting matters can be made with family law lawyers and without the court’s involvement in the decision making.

Lawyer Negotiation

Where parties are unable to or unwilling to negotiate with one another, negotiation can take place between their family law lawyers. This form of dispute resolution usually commences with an exchange of client instructions outlining each party’s view and an offer. A more formal version of lawyer negotiation that  often occurs after a correspondence exchange is a ‘four-way conference’. This is where both parties and their respective lawyers meet and attempt to reach a resolution. If agreement is reached, it can therefore be formally documented with the assistance of the family law lawyers through an application for consent orders or a parenting plan. [...]  READ MORE →