Court orders issued by The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia typically govern child visitation. These orders specify the amount of time a child will spend with each parent and can address several issues related to the child’s care, including transportation, holidays, and communication arrangements.
There may be instances in which parents want to arrange child visitation without court order. In some cases, this may be possible, but it is important to understand the legal implications and risks involved.
3 Options for Parents Who Wish to Arrange Child Visitation Without Court Order
When parents separate or divorce, child visitation arrangements can be a difficult process. While some parents may turn to the courts to establish a formal visitation agreement, others may wish to handle the matter on their own.
Here are several options available for parents who wish to arrange child visitation:
- Informal Arrangement: One option for parents who wish to arrange child visitation without court order is to make an informal agreement. This can include discussing and agreeing on the length of time the child will spend with each parent, as well as any other pertinent issues such as transportation and holiday plans. An informal agreement may appear to be a straightforward solution, but it is crucial to note that it is not legally binding. This means that there may be limited legal recourse if one parent decides to change the agreement or cease allowing the child to see the other parent.
- Work with a mediator: If you and the other parent can’t agree on visitation arrangements, you may need to explore alternative options. A mediator can facilitate discussions and negotiations between you and the other parent to reach a mutually acceptable visitation arrangement.
- Apply for a consent order: A consent order is a court-approved agreement between the parties that becomes a legally binding order. This means that if a party disobeys the court order, they may be held in contempt of court and penalised. To petition for a consent order, both parties must agree on the terms of the order and submit the required paperwork to the court. Before approving the order, the court will examine the agreement and may request additional information or clarification.
When Should a Parent Seek Legal Advice? | Child Visitation Without Court Order
If there are concerns about the child’s safety or well-being, it may not be appropriate to make an informal agreement or file for a consent order without first obtaining legal counsel. In some instances, it may be necessary to seek a court order to secure the child’s best interests.
Additionally, if you do not have a court order or informal agreement and the other parent is denying you access to your child, you should seek legal counsel. You may need to seek a court order to secure your visitation rights and safeguard your child’s best interests depending on the circumstances.
How Can a Parent Get Court-Ordered Visitations?
If you cannot reach a visitation agreement with the other parent, you may be required to seek court-ordered visitation. The following are the stages to obtaining court-ordered visitation:
• Contact a family law attorney: The first step is to seek the assistance of a lawyer. A lawyer can provide you with legal counsel and representation throughout the court proceedings.
• File an Initiating Application for visitation. Your lawyer can assist you in filing an Initiating Application for Visitation. The application should include the specifics of your requested visitation schedule and the reasons why you believe it is in your child’s best interests.
• Attend a hearing: The court will schedule a hearing after you submit your application. You and the other parent will have the opportunity to present your arguments and evidence during the hearing. The court will then make a visitation schedule determination based on the child’s best interests.
• Follow the court’s visitation order: It is essential to adhere to the court’s visitation order once it has made a decision. If the court’s order is disobeyed, there may be legal consequences.
It is important to remember that the court’s visitation decision may not be exactly what you had hoped for. However, it is crucial to prioritise your child’s best interests and strive to ensure a healthy and positive relationship between your child and both parents.
Can Interim Visitation Rights Be Issued to the Non-custodial Parent?
In certain circumstances, interim visitation rights can be granted to the non-custodial parent. The court may issue an interim visitation order to grant visitation rights to the non-custodial parent until a definitive custody and visitation order is established.
Interim visitation orders are typically issued when there is an immediate need to establish visitation.
Notably, temporary visitation orders are typically based on the child’s best interests, and the court will consider the child’s age, relationship with each parent, and any history of domestic violence or abuse when determining visitation.
Visitation Rights and the Child’s Best Interests | Child Visitation Without Court Order
Visitation rights can significantly affect the best interests of a child. Establishing visitation can have a significant effect on the child’s well-being. Visitation allows the child to maintain a relationship with both parents, which can contribute to a sense of stability and security.
Maintaining positive relationships with both parents is beneficial to a child’s emotional and psychological development.
However, if visitation is not established with the child’s needs in mind, it can harm the child’s best interests. For instance, if the visitation schedule disrupts the child’s routine or there are concerns about the child’s safety or welfare during visitation, this can harm the child’s wellbeing.
The Goal of Visitation Rights
Ultimately, the goal of visitation rights is to promote the best interests of the child. Parents and the court can establish a visitation schedule that is beneficial for the child and fosters a healthy, positive relationship between the child and both parents by placing the child’s needs and well-being first
Director of Melbourne Family Lawyers, Hayder manages the practice and oversees the running of all of the files in the practice. Hayder has an astute eye for case strategy and running particularly complex matters in the family law system.