Breaking up is always difficult, but relationship breakdowns become even more challenging when there are children involved.
Custody investigations can be extremely painful, especially on the children, so it is always best for all parties to reach a fair and rapid resolution. Here are some tips to consider if you are preparing for a custody investigation as the result of a breakup:
Meet with a lawyer
It is essential to have legal assistance through the Family Court process so that you have the best representation and the fairest outcome can be achieved. Don’t lose your rights to custody because you elect to represent yourself while your former partner has representation.
Know the different types of child custody
In some cases, parents can split and amicably put together their own arrangements that both parties agree to and that benefit the child(ren) without the need for a court order. In other cases, mediation can assist in bringing these parties together so a legally binding arrangement can be put in place. If a child custody matter does go to court, the Family Court in Australia will come to a decision based on the children’s right to enjoy a meaningful relationship with both their parents and to be protected from harm. The latter will hold more
weight when it comes to decision making.
Prepare Your documents
You will need to file an application for a parenting order and there is going to be a lot of documentation associated with this. Courts will usually mandate a criminal background check on any carer of the children and it is a good idea to conduct your own background checks on your former partner and any other adult that may be living in the premises where the children will be cared for. A private investigator is your best option when it comes to assembling these background checks.
Understand the Family Court process
Before any child custody matter is even heard by the Family Court, all parties are required to read the Marriage, Families and Separation Brochure and attend a Family Dispute Resolution Conference. Every attempt must be made to reach an agreement through mediation before the Court is involved. If this matter does proceed to Court, it is important to remember that the terms “custody” and “contact time” are no longer used and there is no rule or assumption that children must spend equal or “50:50” time with each parent. The best interests of the children and their safety will always be the No.1 factors considered in any ruling.
Be honest, transparent and professional when dealing with a PI
Speak to a private investigator to gather evidence to assist you, but only to discover facts. Forget what you might have seen in the movies, as private investigators don’t exist to trap innocent people or ‘prove’ things that are not true. We will never consider requests like this that could impact a court case and result in innocent people losing their rights or worse.
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For extra support or assistance with your case, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 03 9564 7303.