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Child Custody Perth


Child Custody

Child custody is an old-fashioned expression that refers to who looks after a child, whether that person or persons, is the child’s mother, father or another relative or other care-giver.  Bowen Buchbinder Vilensky Family Lawyers in Perth have been providing family law services over many years, during which time the legal terminology relating to children has changed several times. 

The expression used in Australia is “child welfare orders”, the same across Australia, although in Western Australia there are some differences for children born to couples who are not married to each other, de facto couples. These differences are technical that our experienced family lawyers in Perth are familiar with.


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Who Can Get A Child Custody Arrangement?

Currently, when children live with their mother and father together, the children are said to be under their parents’ parental responsibility, Section 61 Family Law Act, Section 69 Family Court Act. The children are said to “live with” their parents. When separation occurs, children may “live with” both their parents separately, when that suggests that the children live equal time with each parent, but that may not be happening.  If children live with one parent most of the time, they are said to “spend time” with the other parent.  These are the ordinary words describing what happens about children used in the Family Law Act, Section 64B for married parents and the Family Court Act section 84 for de facto couples in WA.

Couples are encouraged to reach an agreement about what happens with their children when they separate.  The Family Relationship Centres established by the federal government are provided to provide counselling services that couples have to use, before they are allowed to go to the Family Court about their children.  But if there is something urgent happening concerning the welfare of the children and there is no time to have counselling then a parent can go straight to the Court.  A significant number of the cases that are started in the Family Court each year concern children where the parents have such a serious dispute that they have not had counselling first.


Daniel Loreck


What Do Child Support Lawyers Do?

An agreement that couples make together is called a “parenting plan”. If things are amicable for you and your former partner it will be almost the same as a Custody or parenting Order. If things are less amicable, Court orders are recommended as they can be readily enforced, as opposed to parenting plans which cannot be enforced. Parents can apply to have their parenting plan formalised into Court orders by making an Application for Consent Orders. There does not need to be a dispute between the parents to bring an Application for Consent Orders.

At Bowen Buchbinder Vilensky we find that legal advice can help people formulate ideas about how they would like their children to live after separation, ideas that can support them when they go for counselling, or to bring proceedings quickly to the court if necessary. Assistance to convert a parenting plan to Court Orders can be the subject of a fixed fee.     

Child Custody Disputes

If proceedings are needed urgently there may be a concern about the safety of the children and parents involved, either because of domestic violence or something else that is causing concern.  The law for all children is that their best interests must be the paramount concern; that is, what is best for them; Section 60CA Family Law Act, Section 66A Family Court Act. When their parents don’t agree about what is best for them, then the law has long lists of matters to consider, to assist in working out what will be best for a particular child or children.

At Bowen Buchbinder Vilensky, we have experience with child custody disputes and the steps that should be taken to avoid litigation if possible, and to urgently bring the matter to the court if required.  Where applicable to the facts of the case, an application can be made for the appointment of an Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL), which is a lawyer to act for the children, and a Court Expert to meet with the parents (and in some cases the children) and provide a full forensic assessment.  

To book an initial consultation with one of our experienced family lawyers, please get in touch. Alternatively, to get started online now, visit the BBV Legal Online System where you can enter your relationship details and receive information that is free, instant, personalised and helpful.



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