Parenting

When children are involved, family law matters can become emotionally sensitive. Our family lawyers are renowned for providing legal advice that’s empathetic, easy-to-understand, and informed by the leading social science research concerning children.

We have expertise in all child-related family matters, including Australian and international parenting arrangements, IVF and surrogacy, same-sex parenting and gender dysphoria. We also work with a network of reputable psychologists, therapeutic counsellors, family report writers and other paediatric experts.

We represent current and future parents, grandparents and guardians.

Our online systems allow you to get started anywhere, any time. By clicking the 'online enquiry' button below, we can give you tailored family law information that's free, instant, personalised and helpful. We’ll put you in touch with a lawyer best suited to your needs. Alternatively, please contact our Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane offices to speak to a family law specialist.

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Parenting Arrangements

The care and welfare of children is a concern for both parents, even if you're separated or have never lived together. We help negotiate and draft enforceable agreements that formalise living arrangements and parenting responsibilities. When parents can't agree, we provide expert advice and representation in preparation for, and during, mediation and court proceedings.

Mediation

The law requires that separating couples try to agree on parenting arrangements before taking court action. We provide support and representation during the mediation process, as well as carefully documenting any agreed settlement for submission to the court.

If an agreement isn't reached at mediation we can:

  • help you seek a negotiated agreement with your former partner
  • file an application with the court seeking formal orders
  • help you respond to a court application issued by your former partner

Donors and surrogates

If a child is conceived using artificial insemination or is born by a surrogate, it can raise complex questions regarding parental rights. It's very important to have a carefully drafted agreement if a surrogate or donor is involved in the conception of your child. We can advise you on how to protect your rights as a parent, surrogate or donor, and will draft the necessary documents.

Relocation and unlawful removal of children

When a child is unlawfully taken overseas it becomes an issue of international law – and this adds complexity. Our team is one of the few in Australia with the experience and global connections to best guide you through that situation.

It's important to take urgent action if you're concerned that your child or children are at risk of being removed, or have been removed, from their home country without your consent. We recommend getting in touch as soon as you can.

We provide advice to:

  • parents seeking to relocate with their child or children
  • parents wishing to oppose the relocation of their child or children
  • parents whose children haven’t been returned or have been unlawfully removed from their country of residence

More about international family law

Same-sex parenting

It's important for same-sex couples to seek legal recognition of their parental rights. We have extensive experience preparing and lodging these kinds of court applications.

We also provide specialist advice on sperm and egg donorship, adoption and surrogacy. Talk to us about what's involved and how we can help draft the necessary documents.

IVF legal issues

Single women, heterosexual couples and same-sex couples have equal rights to IVF treatment, but it's important to make sure your parental status is protected. This is especially so if:

  • you're in a same-sex relationship
  • your relationship does not meet the legal definition of 'de facto'
  • there is a surrogacy arrangement involved

We can help by seeking a court order that formally recognises your parental rights.

Gender dysphoria

Our firm has acted in some of the most significant gender dysphoria cases to date. This includes our work with the Human Rights Law Centre in the landmark case of Re Kelvin.

We're proud to be at the forefront of this emerging area of law, and would welcome the opportunity to lend our expertise in what are almost always sensitive and highly complex matters.


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