Parenting Orders in Northern Rivers

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Qualified Independent Children’s Lawyers

McVittie Legal has been providing clients in Alstonville and the Northern Rivers with experienced family law advice for more than 12 years. Our family lawyers understand how stressful it can be to arrange child custody whilst dealing with separation. You may need to apply for a parenting order, which are made to maintain a relationship with both the parents and with the child’s best interest in mind.

Under Australian law, there is a legal presumption that parents have equal responsibility of their children, meaning the court will strive to ensure both parents receive equal time with their children. The only exemption to this is if there is evidence of abuse or domestic violence.

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What is a Parenting Order?

A parenting order is a set of arrangements made by the court which can include:

Once you have separated, McVittie Legal can assist in drafting up a parenting plan that is agreed by both parties. You can leave it as an agreement or have the plan be legally binding by submitting the agreement to court. If the court is satisfied that the plan is in the best interest of the child, the plan becomes a parenting order and is legally binding.

Surrogacy & Adoption

The Surrogacy Act in NSW allows the intended parents of a child born through surrogacy to apply for parentage 30 days after the birth. It must be an altruistic surrogacy, meaning the birth mother did not receive any financial gain, and the birth mother must be at least 25 years of age. All parties involved must receive legal advice and counselling, given informed consent prior to conception and the child must be living with the intended parents at the time of applying for parentage. The birth mother is also legally entitled to have all her medical and legal expenses paid for by the intended parents.

In NSW, adoption can be made by one person or a couple, including same sex couples. McVittie Legal is here to help you through the difficult process of obtaining an adoption order. Our expert family lawyers will ensure you follow all relevant laws for adoption.

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Children’s Court

The Children’s Court of NSW deals with cases involving:

The team at McVittie Legal are all certified independent children’s lawyers and can represent your child in court. We strive to resolve all Children’s Court issues efficiently in the best interest of the child.

Care & Protection Act

The aim of the Care and Protection Act 1998 is to ensure the safety and well-being of children and young persons. This involves providing them with long-term, safe, nurturing, stable and secure environments. The care and protection proceedings in the Children’s Court is often referred to as “care matters”, which deals with risks or care issues concerning child safety and protection.

If you believe the child is being cared for in an unsafe environment, or your child is being relocated without your consent, we recommend you seek legal advice and representation.

Among other things, a child is considered to be exposed to harm if they experience physical, emotional and sexual abuse, as well as neglect. In the best interest of the child, the court can hear Protection Applications by Emergency Care within 24 hours.

The law surrounding child protection matters is particularly complex. McVittie Legal’s principal, Janet McVittie, is a qualified child representative for care and protection matters, and can offer you the legal support you need during these difficult times.