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Spending time with my children

Separation is a stressful period especially if time between a parent and their children is arbitrarily stopped.  How do you increase the amount of time spent with your children?

When the Family Law Courts are required to determine parenting disputes, they rely heavily on social science that has been widely accepted by the legal community.  One such theory is the Primary Attachment Theory.  This theory adopts the principle that at birth, children usually have a primary attachment with one parent.  The research suggests that children need a primary caregiver in order to create stability and routine to avoid future issues of abandonment.

The issue of having a primary care giver is particularly important for younger children up to and including 5 years of age, depending on the maturity of a child.

In order to create a stable environment for young children and in particular those under 3 years of age, the research suggests frequent short periods of time with the non-primary parent are important to the development of the child and such arrangements do not interfere with the primary attachment the child has with his or her primary care giver.  Although during a relationship both parents spent time with the child overnight, once there has been a separation and the parents are in two separate households, the Family Law Courts are generally reluctant to allow overnight time between the non-primary parent and a child under 3 years of age depending on the circumstances of the case.

Aa a child grows older and more independent and aware of the support they receive from both parents, the research suggests that a progression of increased time with the non-primary parent is effective in strengthening the bond between the child and non-primary parent whilst still ensuring the child’s primary attachment is not threatened.  The time arrangements usually commence at one to two nights per fortnight and gradually increases as the child increases in age.

Once a child commences primary school and depending on the maturity of the child and the parent’s capacity to care for the child, it is not unusual for the non-primary parent to be spending at least 5 nights per fortnight with the child.

Provided there has been a successful period of increased time between the child and the non-primary parent, some families progress to equal time arrangements whereby both parents spend the same amount of nights with the child.  These types of arrangements, when the Family Law Courts are involved, are usually only found where the parents are able to communicate with one another effectively and where the child’s best interests have been determined to be best served with a shared care arrangement.

It can be a confusing and frustrating time for parents, particularly those who are not spending as much time with their child as they may like after separation.  What is important to understand is that each family is different and each child has different needs and requirements.  We work with families with all different types of issues and ensure that all avenues are taken to ensure the best outcome for all parties involved, most importantly, the children the subject of the dispute.

If you are seeking to spend time with your children after a separation or are unsure of how much time you should be facilitating with the other parent, call Lewis Family Lawyers today and we can provide you with advice as to what is a likely outcome in your particular case.

Memberships and Associations

Lewis Family Lawyers

Sydney Office

Level 30, 133 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9159 9049
Mobile: 0438 800 996

Bowral Office

Suite 2B, 11-13 Bundaroo Street
Bowral NSW 2576
Phone: 02 4263 9011

Email: info@lewisfamilylawyers.com.au

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Sydney Office

Level 30, 133 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9159 9049
Mobile: 0438 800 996

Bowral Office

Suite 2B, 11-13 Bundaroo Street
Bowral NSW 2576
Phone: 02 4263 9011

Email: info@lewisfamilylawyers.com.au