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How to Choose a Gold Coast Lawyer in a Child Custody Case

How to Choose a Gold Coast Lawyer in a Child Custody Case

What Makes a Good Child Custody Lawyer?

If you are looking for a family law lawyer in the Gold Coast or surrounding communities, what qualities do you want?  A short, useful answer might be a professional, solution-oriented, strategic lawyer who is, at the same time, caring and compassionate.  The latter two qualities are especially important qualities in Family Law, which is fraught with interpersonal tensions and client stress.  And nowhere is this more evident when parental differences arise with regard to children during a divorce action.


The bottom line: parents and everyone involved in a custody issue must act in the best interest of the children.  But what seems a sensible truism can be difficult where separating parents are angry or there are issues or claims of family violence.  The Court’s focus is squarely on the best interests of the children and will address a number of questions including:

  • To what extent is it possible for children to have meaningful and healthy relationships with both their parents?
  • How best to protect children from physical and psychological harm, neglect and violence?
  • How best to ensure parents carry out their duties and responsibilities to the children on an ongoing basis?
  • And, is there foundation in fact to any existing allegations of family violence and child abuse, both active and from neglect?

The Rights of "De Facto” Parents

A de facto relationship is defined generally as two partners having a relationship and living together on a genuine domestic basis.  There are exceptions and the courts will look at a number of factors in addition to residence, including a sexual relationship, joint finances, a history of one party supporting the other financially, and if a couple presents themselves as a de facto couple.


So, in a custody case, what are the parental rights where the parties are in a de facto relationship, both are the biological parents – and there are no court orders in place against one or both? The short answer is, as, with traditional spousal relationships, both de facto parents have equal rights.  The law then provides that – barring some reason otherwise – that the best interests of a child are fulfilled by spending equal or substantial time, with both parents.  The exact parameters can be worked out between the parties (or by the courts) to create a flexible and practical solution if parents do not live close to each other, or have different work commitments.


Finding the Right Lawyer...

It all sounds logical and straightforward but, as everyone knows, these issues arise out of stressful situations.  A decision to terminate a relationship, not to mention deal with custody issues, can be an emotional landmine.


Finding the right family law practitioner in the Gold Coast and surrounding communities (including Southport, Mermaid Waters, Miami, Robina, Parkwood, Labrador, Burleigh Heads, Varsity Lakes, Hope Island, Biggera Wares and Pimpama) should be easy, if a few qualities are prioritized.


Look for someone with experience.  Find a lawyer and a firm that is flexible in its ability to meet with you.  Despite the importance of a custody issue in your life, you still have family and work obligations, and a lawyer who can meet you on your schedule is a huge asset.  Consider the ability to meet with the lawyer, either in person or by video conferencing.  And ensure that your initial consultation can include an outline of the fees you will be charged, and if by a flat fee structure or hourly rate.

Children and Divorce/Separation

When there are children involved in divorce proceedings, you and your ex must prove to the court the best interests of the child have been taken care of. The application for divorce will have to include care arrangements, schooling, grades and progress at school, care before and after school, the current health of the child or children and the level of contact with each parent. If there is no contact with one parent, information must be provided as to why there is no contact.

It is hard to imagine defining a child or marriage, but to satisfy the courts and to determine custody a child is defined by family law as:

·         Any child of you and your spouse, including children born before the marriage or after the separation;

·         A child you adopted together with your spouse;

·         Or a child who was treated as a member of your family like a step-child or foster child.

Depending on your child’s status and custody arrangements, there may be specific rules that apply to your situation. Working with a family lawyer based on the Gold Coast will be beneficial to you. They can provide the right guidance and support during a particularly emotional and tumultuous time. When tempers can run high and feelings are hurt, a good family lawyer will always revert back to what is best for the child and fight for their interests. 


If you are in search of a family lawyer in the Gold Coast, look no further than My Legal Crunch.  Their team of experienced lawyers will guide you through the process of your legal matter and ensure you are getting accurate and timely information whenever your schedule will allow.

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