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Child Custody Disputes

One of the most serious issues which often arises following marital separation is the custody of the children.

A custody dispute between estranged parents may be difficult for many reasons which is why the family law team at Mackinnon Jacobs Lawyers approach every case individually. It is important to obtain the right advice about your case as early as possible.

The legal strategy may differ depending upon whether you are a custodial or non-custodial parent.

Custodial Parent

Where there are no Court Orders dealing with custody of the children, the Family Law Act provides that both the parents are the custodians of the children. Sometimes one parent will threaten to take the children away (such as interstate or overseas) leaving the other parent fearful that they will lose contact with the children. In cases such as this, it is possible to make urgent application to the Family Court for an Order for residence (custody) preventing the children being taken away until the Court has time to resolve the issues in relation to the children’s care and welfare.

Non-Custodial Parent

In the case of a separation, there can often be problems where one parent has left the family home and is subject to the whims of the custodial parent in seeing their children. We often receive instructions from clients that their former spouse has prevented them seeing the children or will only let them see the child on certain terms or at their discretion. These types of disputes often arise in the lead up to school holidays.

It is generally the case that the police will not intervene in such matters unless there is a Family Court Order specifying arrangements for contact with the children. In cases such as these, it is also possible to make urgent application to the Family Court for Orders for contact and the custodial parent will then be legally bound to comply with those Orders.

Our family law team, headed by an accredited family law specialist, can assist you achieve a cost-effective and efficient resolution to your child custody dispute.

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