Our family law services

Child Custody & Parenting Matters

What we offer

Child Custody & Parenting Matters

“The best security blanket a child can have is parents who respect each other.”

One of the most stressful aspects of separation is telling your child that their mum and dad are separating and working out what the new normal of co-parenting will look like.

Our team of family lawyers understand that your children are the most important thing to you. At Cairns Family Law Group, we aim to provide you with prompt and clear advice about your obligations and responsibilities in parenting matters and practical solutions with the best interest of your child in mind.

Our Cairns Family Lawyers want to learn about your family and what is important to you and what you would like to achieve. Our family lawyers will then work with you to tailor a legal solution to your personal circumstances.

We can assist you with your family law parenting matters. Dealing with issues ranging from parenting disputes to custody arrangements and grandparent rights.

Parenting Disputes
We only do family law, so we are really good at it. If you are separated and have children, we can assist you with your family law parenting matter.

We want to get to know you and help you define what is important to you and what you want to achieve. We can then work with you to explain your rights and responsibilities under the family law and explore what options are best to help you achieve your desired outcome;

  • negotiation via letters,
  • mediation;
  • and/or Court proceedings if needed.

Parenting Agreements & Parenting Plans
Once you have reached an agreement about parenting matters, you might want to formalise the agreement by a parenting plan.

A parenting plan is a written record between parents about the care arrangements for their children. It simply has to be in writing, signed and dated. It is not legally enforceable but is good evidence of what has been agreed.

Parenting plans are a good solution for families who want to define their custody agreement after separation but still want flexibility and do not require a legally enforceable document.

We can help you draft a parenting plan and discuss the pros and cons of a parenting plan to see if it suits your family or whether you should consider other options.

Consent Orders
If you have reached an agreement about your parenting matter and want to legally document this agreement, then we can assist you formalise the agreement by consent orders. Consent orders are an excellent option for parents that do not want to go to Court but want a legally enforceable agreement.

Our family lawyers can guide you through the process of obtaining consent orders and can prepare the Application for Consent orders and orders for you. The Court must approved the agreement is in the best interests of the child.

Children & Parenting Matters (“Custody”)
We provide legal advice and representation concerning custody issues and parenting matters. We can represent you in all family law parenting matters, from consent orders, mediation, to contested court matters. The Courts paramount consideration is always the best interests of the child. We can guide you through the process and provide you with candid legal advice relevant to your circumstances.

Step-Parent Adoption
If you are a step-parent and want to adopt your partner’s child and the parents agree, we can assist you with the Family Court process being the first step required in a step-parent adoption.

Grandparents Rights
Children have a right to spend time and communicate with other people including grandparents significant to their care, welfare and development providing it is safe to do so. We advise grandparents in understanding their legal rights regarding access to and custody of grandchildren.

At Cairns Family Law Group, our priority is you and your family. We know that separation can be stressful. We aim to simplify the separation process for you. This tailored approach provides a clear roadmap to navigating complex legal processes, effectively reducing stress during a trying time.

Frequently Asked Questions

We address the common concerns you might have as you navigate the realms of family law. Our aim is to provide clear, straightforward answers to help demystify the legal processes involved. Here are some of the most asked questions in family law in QLD, Australia.

  • How does the Family Court approach shared parenting?

    The Family Court is all about the child’s best interests. This may or may not result in a shared parenting arrangement. Each case is assessed on its own facts and merits. At Cairns Family Law Group, we will listen to your story and tailor a strategy aimed at achieving the best arrangement for your child.

  • What rights do grandparents have in family law cases?

    Grandparents have a recognised role in a child’s life. We can guide you through the legal avenues available to maintain or establish meaningful relationships with your grandchildren.

  • What should I know about relocating with my child?

    Relocating with a child involves a detailed understanding of family law. You should not relocate with your child before obtaining legal advice. The law must balance a parent’s right to freedom of movement and what effect a move might have on a child having a meaningful relationship with the other parent. Our family lawyers can provide you with legal strategies in relation to relocation.

  • How is child support determined?

    Child support is governed by the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989. The law takes into account a number of factors to determine the child support assessment, including:

    • The age of the child;
    • The income of both parents;
    • The number of nights the child spends with both parents.

    Child Support is a complicated area, we can help you navigate the law.

  • Can I formalise a parenting agreement?

    Absolutely. Formalising a parenting agreement provides added security for both parties. You can formalise a parenting agreement either by a parenting plan or consent orders. A parenting plan is not legally enforceable, but it provides good evidence of what parents have agreed to. Consent Orders are legally enforceable.

    We can explore with you what is the best option for you and your family.

  • What’s involved in the stepparent adoption process?

    There are several steps involved to a stepparent adoption in Australia. Consent of all of the parties is required. You must first apply to Division 1 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia for permission to apply for a Stepparent Adoption. If this Court provides leave, then you must apply to the State Court for adoption order. The process can be lengthy and complicated. We can assist you with the Court application to Division 1 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Getting started

A step-by-step guide to resolving your family law problem

Getting started on resolving your family law problem can feel overwhelming, but understanding the process can ease the way. Here’s a straightforward guide to what you can expect from your first appointment with us, designed to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to take the next steps.

1. Making first contact

Reaching out is the first step towards resolving your family law matter.

You can book an initial appointment with us on our online booking calendar on our website or over the phone. We offer two initial options to get the conversation started: a complimentary 15-minute chat or a comprehensive one-hour consultation for $450, including GST.

Both provide a safe space for us to understand your unique situation.

2. Preparing for your consultation

While it’s natural to feel anxious about your first meeting with a family lawyer, we aim to make the process as smooth as possible. We offer appointments in person either at our Cairns or Innisfail office, or by Telephone or Microsoft Teams appointments.

If your matter is about a property settlement, be prepared to answer questions about what property you currently own and its estimated value and the property that you and your former partner owned at the start of the relationship.

Please ensure you have childcare in place for your children, as we do not allow children to attend appointments.

3. During the initial consultation

The initial consultation is a one-hour session with a family lawyer on our team. We will listen to your story, ask you relevant questions, provide you with preliminary advice about your separation, divorce, parenting and/or property matter and make a plan forward to assist you to resolve your matter.

4. The next step

Following your first consultation, should you choose to engage our services, we’ll provide you with a cost agreement and disclosure notice detailing our legal fees and terms of engagement.

With our expertise by your side, you’ll have the resources and strategies to make confident decisions and progress towards a resolution.

Want to meet the team? Book a consult and let's chat

Our team

Meet the dedicated professionals who make Cairns Family Law Group your trusted ally in navigating family law. Each member of our team not only brings legal expertise but also a genuine commitment to understanding your unique situation.

Together, we focus on equipping you with the knowledge to make informed decisions that positively shape your future.

For a deeper dive into the expertise and ethos that each team member brings to your case, click below.

Enquiry form

Let's start the conversation