Specialists in child development advise that children benefit from having a meaningful relationship and time with both their parents, but this isn’t always the case, and sometimes the risk of harm to a child for other reasons outweighs any benefit.
When parents and other interested parties (extended family and step-parents) disagree about where children live, who they spend time with, what they are exposed to, what they are at risk from, and whether they should get certain health treatments, education, extra-curricular activities and travel interstate or overseas, there is then a child-related dispute.
The first step to resolving the dispute is mediation. If this fails, a Section 60I certificate will issue, which enables an Application to the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court to investigate and resolve the dispute. In complex cases, often an Independent Children’s lawyer is appointed.
The outcome of a child-related dispute is a parenting plan or a parenting order.