The Care of Children Act 2004 provides for guardianship obligations and a regime for parenting a regime for day to day parenting and contact of your children following separation or divorce.
About Parenting, Care, Custody and Child support
In March 2014, the Care of Children regime changed. Now unless there is an urgent need for Court intervention, lawyers are excluded from negotiations and instead parties must attend a Family Dispute Resolution conference. Securing the advice and assistance of a Family Law expert lawyer can be invaluable in preparing you for the process, advising of your entitlements according to the law and drafting documents useful for the custody discussions.
Nowadays the terms “custody” and “access” have been replaced with “day to day care” and “contact”. Orders made by the court are called “Parenting Orders”.
Following discussions about day to day care of children, if all parties can agree then they may resolve matters or may obtain a consent order from the Court enforcing that agreement, again a Family Lawyer can assist with this process.
Parenting Orders & Protection Orders
In circumstances where there are genuine concerns for the safety of children, a Parenting Order and Protection Order can be made by the court without notice to the other party. Lawyers are involved throughout this process and generally specialist lawyers will also be appointed by the court to represent your children’s interests.
A common misconception is that children will always be placed with their mothers. Instead the court favours shared or joint custody and care plans where children have quality time with each parent or care giver after divorce or separation.
About Child Support
Child Support may also be affected by decisions on shared or joint custody arrangements. The best way to ensure that you are meeting child support obligations, getting fair treatment regarding day to care and ensuring that your children’s best interests are being considered is to consult with a Family Law expert.
Looking for a lawyer to help with Parenting Orders or Family Dispute Resolution? Contact Jennifer
Jennifer Perry is a Family Law expert who specialises in Relationship Property, divorce and separation settlement agreements and care and custody of children. Jennifer is a member of the Family Law section of the Law Society and a member of Collaborative Law New Zealand.