Divorce with children adds an extra level of complexity to the issue. And no one more than children may feel the stress when their parents divorce. 

Not only is it a complex area of law, but each situation and circumstance is unique. Many questions arise regarding child support, child custody, consent orders, and parenting plans. 

It helps to have guidance on what is most important when divorcing with children. 

This article will help you gain a better understanding of these issues.

Speak to our experienced divorce lawyer at Times Lawyers, where we have a lot of experience helping people in difficult family situations. 



How does child custody work in Australia?

In a divorce, where children are involved, child custody and child support will likely form part of your divorce application. That means that the Court will not consider your divorce unless you’re showing the Court that you’ve considered your children.

The Court puts a large focus on the children’s rights to have a meaningful relationship with both their parents. The Court aim at protecting the children.

The Court will try to encourage you and your ex-partner to have equal shared responsibility for your children after separation. The law works on the basis that the arrangements made MUST be in the best interests of the children.


Should you file for divorce before child custody?

This is a very important question. It would be wise to first consider the children before you consider divorce. Children are very much as affected by grief as adults. Your children might feel that they need to be loyal to both you and your ex-partner, and the tear in their hearts that comes with your divorce might scar your children permanently. Consider how attached your children are to you and your partner.

To reduce the damage to your children,  the earlier you deal with child custody, it’s almost always the lesser damage the divorce is to them.

The conflict at home, that comes with divorce with children, often starts with being separated under the same roof, and can be more than what the children can bear. In some situations, there might even be domestic violence involved. If your children face harm, we can assist you in seeking a temporary order to protect your children.


Can I apply for child custody without going to court?

There are two ways that you can sort out child custody in Australia without going to Court.

The first way is to draft a Parenting Plan. If you and your ex-partner are able to come to an agreement about parenting matters, then our Brisbane child custody lawyer can draft a Parenting Plan for both parents to sign. This is a less formal way of agreeing in writing about child custody.

The second way is to apply for Consent Orders; here you will receive an Order from the Court, that is based on your agreement with your ex-partner. This does not require you to go to Court, but our child custody lawyers can make a paper application to the Court Registry to obtain an Order. This is a more formal way of dealing with child custody.

The differences between a Parenting Plan and a Consent Order:

  • Parenting Plans are less formal, and are more flexible to change
  • Parenting Plans does not involve the Court at all
  • A Consent Order is more formal, and are a lot more legally binding
  • A Consent Order is legally enforceable

If you are looking for a more flexible arrangement that would change at any time, Parenting Plan would be a good option. However, if your partner is unlikely to be able to adhere to a plan, and you want a plan for your children in place that is more firm and powerful, then we recommend Consent Orders.

However, every situation is different, and we advise that you talk to us, so we can give you advice according to your situation.


Child Support QLD

Child Support in Queensland is a payment paid by one parent to the other parent, in order to support the costs of looking after your children. Child Support is usually paid until your children reach 18 years of age.

You can either agree with your ex-partner how much Child Support is to be paid, or you can also apply to the Department of Human Services (Child Support) for an administrative assessment.

The Department will calculate how much Child Support should be paid, calculated on:

  • The parents’ income
  • The costs required to look after the children
  • The number and age of your children,
  • How much you need to spend in order to look after yourself.


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