Chatswood Family Lawyers

Child Custody


Supportive Counsel and Aggressive Court Representation from the Child Custody Lawyers at Chatswood Family Lawyers

Decisions regarding where children will live and how they will be raised are among the most contentious issues in many divorces. While it’s still common to refer to this as visitation, child custody lawyers and the Australian law have evolved so that the visitation issues are now known as “live with” and “spend time with”.

Australia has adopted laws that make shared parental responsibilities the presumptive choice for family courts. However, many parents seek sole decision-making authority and to reduce the other parent to the role of visitor. This presents divorcing parents and child custody lawyers with two narrow alternatives which are to either negotiate a joint parenting agreement or face a contentious, high-stakes custody battle. At Chatswood Family Lawyers, our child custody lawyers are determined to uphold your parental rights. When a negotiated solution is possible, our child custody lawyers work toward a manageable plan that benefits both sides. But when your spouse is set on undermining your relationship with your children, our child custody lawyers fight hard for their best interests and yours.


The term “visitation” was formerly used to refer to particular rights that a parent or guardian has regarding the children of the relationship. Under this old terminology, child custody lawyers have given advice only in relation to the option of having the children live with them or spend time with them. Now, child custody lawyers divide the parental responsibilities in a parenting plan or consent orders which covers:

  • Their living arrangements
  • How much time they will spend with each parent and other family members
  • How information and records related to them will be shared with each parent
  • Transportation arrangements for parenting time


    We help resolve life’s challenges to get you to a better place!

    If the divorce is amicable or uncontested, you or your child custody lawyers are able to negotiate consent orders in relation to parenting or you could work out a parenting plan on your own at mediation. During the mediation, you could also try to work out any minor conflicts to ensure your parenting arrangement with your former spouse runs smoothly. However, if mediation does not work and the Family Court must decide the issue, then your child custody lawyers will usually advise you that the Family Court tends to favour giving most parental responsibilities to the primary caregiver. In these situations, your child custody lawyers will usually advise you in relation to the payment of financial support by the other parent to the primary caregiver to the invidual.


    In resolving the conflicts, our qualified team of Family Law Specialists and child custody lawyers at Chatswood Family Lawyers can advise and guide you and your family along the most efficient and costs efficient methods to resolve your parenting matter. This may include:


    Whether it is in writing, verbally or in person, negotiations can occur between you and your former partner directly or with your respective child custody lawyers.

    In negotiation, you or your solicitors on your behalf will discuss the concerns surrounding the parenting matter and attempt to arrive at an agreement. This might include non-parenting issues such as the conduct of the other party towards you, for example, in berating you or speaking to you in an unkind manner or denigrating you to the children or in the hearing of the children. Your solicitors will include the non-parenting issues and the parenting issues in any agreement so that the agreement reached either through consent orders or parenting plan ensures that the agreement between the parties is conducted in an orderly manner without causing any further angst between the parties.

    We strongly recommend that should you have any difficulties in negotiating a parenting agreement or consent orders that you contact our child custody lawyers and Family Law Specialists as soon as possible to avoid having to commence Court proceedings.


    Mediation, or otherwise known as Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) invites you, your former spouse and a jointly appointed mediator to discuss the conflicts at hand. You can attend the mediation yourself with your spouse or with the assistance of your solicitors.
    On the day of the mediation, the mediator will assist you and your former spouse to reach a common agreement that can be formalised by your child custody lawyers who can then file it with the Family Court.

    In the circumstances that an agreement cannot be reached, the mediator will issue you with a ‘Section 60I Certificate’. This Certificate essentially confirms that you have attempted to resolve the parenting issues with your spouse but your attempts were unsuccessful or that either party had not attempted to resolve the issues (if they refused or failed attend the mediation). With the Certificate, your child custody lawyers may commence Court proceedings for parenting matters.

    Whilst we strongly recommend that matters be kept outside of the Family Court due to costs and time complications, it is still very important that you have an initial consultation with one of our Family Law Accredited Specialists and solicitors to understand your rights and issues which you need to agree with your spouse. Please contact our Family Law Accredited Specialists and child custody lawyers on (02) 9412 4500 before you attend or intend to attend a mediation.


    Nothing can replace the time you have with your children, and your rights as a parent is worth any fight. The trusted solicitors and Family Law Accredited Specialist at Chatswood Family Lawyers have the experience and determination it takes to negotiate a fair parenting plan, and the tenacity to win in court, if required. Contact us today at (02) 9412 4500, by email at or using our convenient online form, to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced solicitors at our Chatswood office.