This is the closest and hurtful topic I like to write on! This post is about the most vulnerable parties of them all in a relationship breakdown.
Children are the most affected of all the concerned parties in family separation. Child custody, child support, parenting arrangements are few of the key areas to mention.
Check out how each of these key points get affected during a separation process:
Child Support or Child maintenance is a financial issue, discussed while the partners are separating. Child Support is paid by either or both the parents depending on the family situation. The child support is paid either in one lumpsum or as periodical payouts.
The more a parent is involved directly in child care, the less he/she will have to pay the child support. The Child Support Agency is an authorised establishment to assess and administer child support amount, and payments
The Child Support Agency assesses the family’s financial situation and other commitments before recommending child support amount.
The parents, in turn can opt for getting a Child Support Agreement, with the help of family lawyers. The Child Support Agreements comprise of the parents plans and commitments towards child care, support and sharing parental responsibilities.
Child custody is an endlessly debated topic between the separating parents. Most often than not, the children become the tool to ego boosting for their parents. Unfortunately, many separating parents fail to understand that parental alienation can cause severe psychological disorders in the children.
The judiciary taking note of such tendencies, is very strict with assigning child custody to either one (Sole Custody) or both the parents (Joint Custody). The physical custody of a child can be shared between the parents, with child/ children spending equal time with both the parents.
The parents can access alternative dispute resolution services to decide about the child custody, if they themselves cannot come to an agreement. Alternative dispute resolution services like mediation, or collaboration assist the parents to work through their disputes sensibly and put the best possible arrangement for the child / children.
Rather than taking the child custody to court, it is highly recommended that you consider alternative dispute resolution options.
Parental Child Abduction
This might seem quite strange to start with! But yes, this is very likely and of course disturbing for the parents. Parental child abduction means, a parent, takes the child/children out of state or out of country without the knowledge or consent of the other parent, who has joint or sole custody of the child/children.
Parental child abduction is a criminal offence.
If the child is being taken from a parent to another state in Australia, a family lawyer can get orders from court, instructing state and federal police to recover the child and handover to the rightful parent (who has parentage orders from the court).
If the child is suspected to be taken outside Australia, the family lawyer can bring orders from court to seal all exit points in Australia and stop the child to be taken out of Australia.
In unfortunate event of child being already taken out of Australia, one should reach a family lawyer who is experienced in international family laws and can apply to Hague Convention for recovery of the child. This process of recovery and handing over the child to the other parent is very time consuming, and stressful.
Paternity Testing and Fraud
When one partner suspects that he/she is not the biological parent of the child in their family, they can bring it up in the court and deny paying the child support.
The court order form DNA testing. Since the DNA tests are very costly, the court may advice the cost to be shared by both the partners.
If the test reports confirm fraud in claim of paternity, the person can claim to refund the child support provided so far and deny paying the future amount of child support.