Everything You Need To Know About Child Custody

When relationships end, it’s a sad, complicated, and frustrating time for all involved. However, when children are involved, the process becomes even more overwhelming. Whether you have a few questions about the process of child custody or you’re looking to challenge an ex-partner for custody, Gentles Family Lawyers can provide you with a child custody lawyer in Sydney who’ll help you reach a resolution. We’re here to help you negotiate and make decisions in the best interests of your children. Here are a few things you should know about child custody in New South Wales.

How Does Child Custody Work?

Every family is different and needs unique arrangements following a separation or divorce. Your child custody lawyer in Manly is here to help you figure out an arrangement that suits everyone involved.

  • Either parent can have custody. No laws dictate who should have custody of the children at separation, so the parents need to determine their own arrangements in the child's best interests.
  • A parenting plan can be arranged. If you and your partner choose mediation, you’ll have opportunities to discuss the level of access each of you has to the children. This information is recorded into a parenting plan. If an agreement can’t be reached, you may need to take your matter to the family courts.
  • Court orders may be issued. A court order is a document handed down by the family court that dictates the arrangement believed to be in the child’s best interests. They consider factors such as the child’s wishes, the child’s relationship with each parent, practical difficulties, the maturity of the child, family violence issues, and cultural issues, amongst other things.

Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody

Our team receives a lot of questions about child custody, so we’ve answered a few of the most common ones here.

  • Can I prevent my ex from seeing the kids?
    If there are issues such as violence or drug use, you are within your rights to withhold the children from your ex. However, if you’re preventing access because you’re angry, hurt, or jealous, it won’t look good when you apply for a court order. Therefore, we encourage our clients to allow their children to see both parents regularly wherever possible.
  • I want sole custody of my child/children. How do I do that?
    Your Sydney child custody lawyer can help you figure out the best possible resolution for your individual situation. If you’d like to enquire about sole custody, have a chat with one of the legal professionals at Gentles Family Lawyers today.
  • If I already have an arrangement in place, do I need to get it in writing?
    Even if a current arrangement works brilliantly, it’s always best to get everything in writing. You never know what the future may hold, so talk to your lawyer about having an agreement drawn up as soon as possible.
  • My ex isn’t adhering to our arrangement. What should I do?
    You need to speak to your child custody lawyer. If there’s no court order in place, consider applying for one. If there is an order and your ex violates the terms, speak to your lawyer about taking action or varying the order.
  • My ex and I have arrangements in place, but they aren’t working anymore. How can we change the arrangement?
    If you have a parenting plan in place, it may be as simple as renegotiating the terms with your ex in mediation. However, if you have a court order, you need to convince the court that there has been a significant change to the conditions of the initial order. It’s often best to speak with your lawyer before trying to change any agreements or orders.

Do You Need A Child Custody Lawyer In Sydney? Contact Gentles Family Lawyers

At Gentles Family Lawyers, we’re passionate about delivering the very best results for our clients. Our team are experts in a wide range of family law matters, including separation, divorce, mediation, property settlement, and child custody. We endeavour to provide cost-effective legal services without compromising on our commitment to quality. As a boutique firm, we’re better able to provide a boutique service, and we’re renowned for our resolutions-focused approach to our work. Gentles Family Lawyers strives to provide our clients with compassionate, professional, and accurate legal advice tailored to their unique circumstances. If you’re looking for a child custody lawyer in Sydney, contact Gentles Family Lawyers today.

Phone us

Manly office: (02) 8319 7498
Ioanita Gentles: 0412 341 635
Conveyancing: (02) 8319 7498


Visit us

Manly: Unit 9,
14 Eustace Street, Manly 2095 NSW

Other locations

Opening hours

Our Manly office hours are:
8.30am to 5.00pm
Lunch hour: 1-2pm

We look forward to helping you