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Video Transcript:

Hi, this is Video 2 of Module 3. My name's Helen Chetcuti and I'm a Senior Associate at Pearsons Lawyers. If this is the first video you've seen, then I highly recommend you go back to Module 1. Module 1 contains two checklists of important actions that you need to take right now beforeproceeding further. To get there, please visit Pearsons' YouTube Channel,or Pearsons' website and follow the links. Otherwise, if you're ready,let's begin.

The obvious question in divorce and children's manners is what arrangements do we come to in respect to our children? In terms of the decision making powers, they are your children, this will depend on who generally makes the decision and there is a presumption that decision making will be shared.This is often called shared parental responsibility, and means that both parents generally share decision making in respect to a child.

However, where this is not practical, or there are issues of risk, this may not be possible, and therefore the court will make or, an agreement can actually assign, sole parental responsibility to one party. In other situations there may be grandparents, or the parties, concerned with the care, welfare and development of a child who require that decision making power. And in those situations, orders or written agreements can also be made providing sole parental responsibility for those parties or other parties to share in that responsibility.

In terms of who a child lives with and spends time with - they're the new terms that we are now applying (as opposed to custody of a child). Who a child will live with or spend time with will depend on the interests of the child and
the composition of your family.

In looking at what's in the best interest of the child the court will consider and balance the need for a child to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. Also, against the need of any risk factors or violence issues, that may be occurring within the home.

In addition the court will look at factors such as the age of the child,wishes expressed by the child, any other siblings of the child, and any other family relationships that this child may have, the cultural background of the child, such as if they are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, and other factors of the day to day welfare of that child.

And in doing so the court will then look at what arrangement best suits the child. In terms of views expressed by a child, I'm often asked the question as to whether a child can give evidence in a family court situation, and the child does not give evidence; does not go into a courtroom. Rather,their voice is heard through other mechanisms, such as a family report could be prepared, which is a psychologist to the court, prepares a report
with the parties and the child and writes a recommendation for the court to consider.

In other situations an independent juror's lawyer who is the lawyer for the children may be appointed to gather evidence surrounding the child's life,whether it be a Score Report, or other reports necessary, and to provide a neutral perspective on behalf of the child, away from that of the parties.

So again, who gets custody of a child will really depend on the facts of your case, and also whether you require, to actually litigate matters, a court order or whether you require a parenting agreement, a registered parenting agreement, or a verbal agreement. If you're having a verbalagreement, then you don't necessarily have to have any of these other issues written down. And if it's a written agreement, obviously these matters will need to be addressed.

So in a nutshell, who gets custody of the children is not a straight answer. It will depend on the composition of your family, the facts of your case, and what is in the best interest of your child.

That's it for this video. If you feel that you're ready, you can now move on to Video 3 of Module 3.

All our videos in this Youtube series can be found through the Pearsons Youtube Channel at or by visiting the Pearsons website at and following the links.

Alternatively, if you know that its simply time to see a Family Lawyer, please contact us for a free initial consultation. Please be advised that we must complete a conflict check so that we can only represent one party in a Family Law matter. So if your partner is watching this same Youtube series and engages our services before you do, we advise that we may
not be able to talk to you.

Whatever it is that you choose, its our wish that throughout this Youtube series, you can finally gain a sense of certainty so that you know where you stand.



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