Baby Hints & Tips

How to approach custody arrangements

My partner and I separated a few months ago and at this stage he is refusing to sort out a custody agreement. It is really starting to takes its toll having no stability and I was wondering what avenues could be taken to create a custody agreement.

  • Contact family relationship Australia and get mediation under way.  Erin
  • Mediation agreements are NOT legal documents even if papers have been drawn up and signed by u an solicitors, if u get to mediation and have fears he may take of with ur babies then don’t agree to anything. The only way its legal is I you take them to court! I’ve had to call the police on my ex 3x for not returning our daughter and police just say nothing they can do as there are no legal orders:(. Good luck.   Toni
  •  Get a family law specialist. Make sure you get a court ordered custody agreement because if you don’t and he refuses to give the child back Police CAN’T do anything.   Roxy
  •  See a solicitor they will give you the best advice.   Nicolette
  •  Mediation. Also if no papers are drawn up, either parent can take the child and it can’t be enforced for them to return them unless it’s done legally or by courts. I wish you luck.   Christine
  •  I don’t think legal aide are assisting in these matters unless for serious concerns relating to childcare arrangements. Do go to a solicitor though, one that will put a legal aide application in for you (legal aide can tell you what solicitors in your area will take on legal aide cases) and they can organise an out of court conference for parenting arrangements. If the other party does not agree with the orders then it may go to court. It may be likely the other party won’t even attend and it will be seen in your favour. Mediation agreements through  Australia are not legally binding, though if it ended up in court and one party was seen to be breaching an agreement you both made in mediation it would not look so good, but it still is not an order unless lodged in the courts by a legal practitioner. I suggest you see one. Best of luck, it will get easier.   Laura
  •  Go to courts ASAP. Have something written up through mediation. If you don’t he can take the child and run and you don’t really have a leg to stand on in way of getting the child back or you will have to fight the courts to get the child back and could take months. Good luck.   Jessica
  •  Go & see legal aid!   Krystal
  •  Diarise each time you’ve attempted to talk about it. Write EVERYTHING down. Then go see relationships Australia. Courts won’t see you without having attempted mediation first. Legal aid also does mediation. If nothing comes of mediation, then seek the courts.  Jess
  •  Go and apply for legal aid. They will get the ball rolling for you. It doesn’t sound like your ex is going to get things happening so it’s up to you. You will have to have a mediation session first, and then if you can’t come to an agreement it will go before the courts.   Kristy
  •  Mediation is usually how legal aid starts however you need to see a solicitor. U can go to legal aid for free advice clinic for family law or go to community legal centre. Document everything. U can do mediation thru other services but depends in whether he agrees. If he refuses or there is history of domestic violence u get a certificate to say mediation is exempt and then can start proceedings. But my best advice is to see a lawyer. Good luck.   Sascha
  •  You can also go to your local neighborhood centre, they provide a free video link to a solicitor to get advice. Take note of every time you have asked him to come see the child & always have a witness. This happened to me & I never documented anything & for 9mths he refused to see his daughter & the next thing I knew I was being taken to court as he claimed I had refused him visitation. Good luck but I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to document everything but please get some legal advice from a solicitor.  Marilyn
  •  I agree, note everything. During care arrangements use a ‘communication book’ use it to communicate to each other with notes you want/need to pass on. Mediate a parenting plan, either your own solicitor or legal aid. And never speak badly if the other parent in ear shot if the child/ren (add this if it’s not in parenting plan).   Elizabeth
  •  Legal aid and family relations is the first step they will help you.   Donna
  •  Mediation is the first step like others have suggestion.   Jodi
  •  Lawyers??   Jen
  •  We are going through stuff with my step sons and even if you in through legal aid the first step is mediation, do mediation first then take the steps from there, though what you do through mediation is not legally binding, it will still be on your side if he is no show, but then wants full custody. Through mediation they will go through all steps until going to court!   Rissa
  •  See legal aid. If he’s being difficult about it you might end up having to take it to the courts and ask them to set out legal arrangements.   Laura


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