Experienced Child Custody Lawyer

We help protect your relationship with your children and promote their best interests in a child custody dispute

Caring and
Experienced

We provide caring support, relentless advocacy and sound legal counsel based on our experience in family law.

Protect the Best Interests of Your Child

Our law firm works diligently to help you work amicably with your ex-spouse to protect the best interests of your child.

Sympathetic and Client-Focussed

We take a compassionate approach to all child custody matters, so the welfare of you and your children will always be a priority.

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Our Child Custody Experience

Child custody is often the most challenging and emotionally charged aspect of family law.

As an experienced child custody lawyer with over 20 years of experience, Lance Jackson can help clients achieve positive outcomes, including resolving complex children´s matters like successful recovery proceedings for children, mediations, paternity testing and contested final hearings.

Lance is empathetic and dedicated to providing astute legal assistance to parents who want the best for their children. His clients benefit from his results-driven approach, commitment to professional development and genuine passion for law.

Lance will help you to prepare your best child custody case for settlement out of court. If you do have to go to court, he´ll be right by your side and advocate for you during proceedings, giving you complete peace of mind.

Lance Jackson
Principal Family Lawyer
Arcadian legal

Our Reviews

As a small family law firm, we treat our clients as individuals and respect the difficulties of each situation. We provide honest family law advice for married couples, those in de facto relationships or even those looking to enter a new relationship. See what some of our clients have to say:

Rhea DSouza
Rhea DSouza
2023-02-17
Lance is a great family lawyer and very professional. He instantly makes you feel comfortable and at ease. His knowledge of the family law process is quite thorough.
Steve Tikellis
Steve Tikellis
2023-02-06
Lance was courteous and professional when we needed legal advice recently regarding a personal family matter, his service and opinion was highly valuable and I would highly recommend Lance and Arcadian Legal for anyone whose looking for a trusting lawyer.
Ed Ortiz
Ed Ortiz
2023-01-31
Lance is the best family solicitor I have ever worked with. I knew Lance since 2019 when my child custody case started. From our first meeting, he explained everything to me in terms I could easily understand and was always very responsive when I had questions outside of our meetings. If anyone is looking for a trustworthy and knowledgeable solicitor. Arcadian legal is highly recomended
Ellen Lucy
Ellen Lucy
2023-01-25
Lance Jackson's in-depth knowledge of Family Law and Wills is very helpful to his client's! His expertise include divorces, child custody arrangements, financial agreements, probate administration, estate planning and criminal law among other things. The convenient location at Rouse Hill Town Centre is great too. Highly recommend if you are seeking a family, criminal or wills lawyer!
Ellen Shai-Hee
Ellen Shai-Hee
2023-01-25
Thank you Lance for being such a helpful and friendly lawyer during a tough time. Your professionalism and efficiency makes things run a lot smoother.
Steve Sebbes
Steve Sebbes
2021-12-06
I have worked alongside Lance for over 12 Months now and seen the consummate professional. He is quiet and thoughtful but he can bring out the street fighter when it’s needed. You won’t find better than Lance.
J Family
J Family
2020-10-13
I dealt with Lance Jackson. Very helpful and friendly solicitor

Our Services

At Arcadian Legal, we will provide you with all the information and legal guidance needed in all types of complex child custody cases.

Provide Legal Advice and Strategic Counsel

We'll help you make important decisions, providing tailored representation to your situation. We'll help you get you back to your normal lives as quickly as we can.

Apply for Parenting Orders on Your Behalf

If there's a dispute or any other parenting issues, we will apply to the court for a parenting order which will determine what is in the best interests of the child.

Prepare and Represent You in a Hearing

At Arcadian Legal, we will gather evidence and develop a strategy for your case. Once in court, we'll speak confidently on behalf of you and your children.

Apply for Changes to a Parenting Order

If you're in a situation where an order is no longer working for your child or family, we can make an application to the court to change existing arrangements.

Enforcement of a Parenting Order

If there has been a breach of the order and you believe the other person doesn't have a reasonable excuse, we'll apply to the court on your behalf to enforce it.

Represent You in Court Proceedings

As a leading family law firm, we'll draw on our extensive knowledge of child custody law to represent you effectively in court, ensuring your side of the story is heard.

What is a Parenting Order?

A Parenting Order is the court's decision about how parental responsibilities will be allocated and how children will spend time with each parent. Depending on your situation, the court may decide on shared parental responsibility or award sole parental responsibility to one party.

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Decisions on a Child's Welfare

In making a decision, children's welfare is the paramount concern, and the court will consider all aspects of care and welfare arrangements for them.

Number of Nights in Each Person's Home

Number of Nights in Each Person's Home

Living arrangements will specify when a child will spend time with one parent or the other and include details for each week or fortnight and the number of nights.

Care for the Child in Specific Circumstances

Allocation of Parental Responsibility for a Child

Parental responsibility covers all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority a parent has over a child and includes who the child spends time with and for how long.

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Child Support Payments

Typical costs such as clothing, transport and expenses will be the primary responsibility of the custodial parent. In most cases, the non-custodial parent will be required by law to pay a certain amount per month in support.

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Parental Communication Rights

In some cases, parenting orders can dictate that a child may speak to a parent over the phone or other means when they are in the care of the other parent.

Care for the Child in Specific Circumstances

Care for the Child in Specific Circumstances

Parenting orders typically make provisions for a child to spend time with each parent during special occasions such as Christmas, birthdays, religious holidays and overseas travel.

Court Considerations When Making a Parenting Order

The court always takes into account the best interests of the child. The primary considerations are:

Need for the Child to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Both Parents

A meaningful relationship is one that is significant, important and valuable to a child. The court will also consider the future and whether this relationship will benefit the child.

Need to Protect the Child from Any Harm or Violence

The need to protect children from physical or psychological harm comes before other concerns and covers family violence, neglect and child abuse.

Capacity to Take Care of the Child's Needs

Parents must demonstrate they can take care of their children's physical, emotional and mental needs. The court will consider each parent's maturity, background and lifestyle.

Views of the Child

The court will look at how mature the children are and how much they understand, although they don't have to express their views if they don't want to.

Family Dispute Resolution

Before any parenting order application, parents may have to attend Family Dispute Resolution (FDR). If your dispute cannot be resolved, you may need legal advice from a family lawyer.

Parents Cannot Reach an Agreement

Section 601 of the Family Law Act states that parents who cannot reach an agreement through mediation can apply for a judicial ruling, provided an FDR practitioner has filed a certificate. This can indicate parents' attendance/non-attendance or that mediation was unsuccessful.

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Parents Reach an Agreement

If you agree on arrangements for your children, these can be recorded in a parenting plan. This written document helps everyone know what to expect and covers practical issues along with mechanisms to make changes. It is signed and dated by both parents.

Number of Nights in Each Person's Home

What is Child Support?

Child support is a periodic payment made by one parent and is intended to help pay for the everyday living expenses of children such as food, clothes and transportation.

It is payable for all children under 18 whose parents have separated regardless of whether they were married or not. Both parents may be liable to pay this support depending on the circumstances.

Child support is sought via the family court, it may be agreed upon in advance through a binding financial agreement or by applying to the Department of Human Services (DOHS).

Equal Responsibility of Both Parents

Before any court order is made, each parent of a child under 18 has parental responsibility regardless of whether they're married, separated or dealing with any other family law matter.

Section 61B of the Family Law Act 1975 defines parental responsibility as "all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to children."

Parental responsibility can be divided into day-to-day issues and long-term decisions. These may include the child's religion or culture, school and health decisions.

As a child custody lawyer, we can help you navigate these complexities where needed.

Child Custody and Support Payments

When a marriage ends, both spouses are left to make decisions about child custody and ongoing financial support. Divorce can be a contentious and emotionally charged process. We'll leverage our knowledge and expertise to reach a favourable arrangement that safeguards the welfare of your children and protects your parental rights.

Making the right decisions for your children cannot be left to chance. You need someone on your side who can fight for your rights and understands the law in great detail.

At Arcadian Legal, we have helped hundreds of parents with their child custody and support needs. Let us help you too!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an independent child lawyer?

In some cases, the court will appoint a lawyer as an advocate for children and to assist the court in determining the best interests of a child or children.

Can children give evidence in the family court?

Generally no, but in certain circumstances children can give direct evidence if the court permits it.

Do I have to share custody?

Under Australian family law, children have the right to a relationship with both their parents. The court uses the term 'parental responsibility' instead of 'custody,' which is usually shared between both parents. It often means that children divide their time equally between both parents except in certain situations.

Can I fight for sole custody of my children?

In some cases, a parent can request sole custody or sole parenting order. They will only be granted if sharing custody is not in the best interests of the child. For example, if the child is exposed to dangers like family violence and abuse. Evidence of this is required, such as police reports or witness statements.

Can I prevent my ex from taking the children overseas?

Yes, you can if you have an order from the family court, the Australian Federal Police can place the children on a watch list. A child on the watch list cannot leave Australia without a further court order.

What rights do grandparents have in child custody disputes?

During child custody disputes, grandparents are not guaranteed any right to the child, but they may be granted visitation or supervised contact with the grandchild by a court order. Grandparents may also petition for guardianship if the child's parents are deemed unfit.

Can I prevent my ex from taking my children overseas?

Yes, you can if you have an order from the family court, the Australian Federal Police can place the children on a watch list. A child on the watch list cannot leave Australia without a further court order.

I already have a parenting arrangement with my ex. Why do I need to formalise it in writing?

Parenting arrangements are often made informally between parents following a break-up. In some cases, they may be as simple as shared parental responsibility. In other cases, one parent has primary custody and the other parent has visitation rights. Formalising these in writing makes it easier to understand and enforce in court if necessary.

What are my rights if my partner doesn't follow the terms of the parenting order?

This legally binding agreement means both parents have to do what it says. If your ex-partner doesn't follow it, you can try to sort things out with them first. If that fails, we can help enforce a parenting order in court.

What is the difference between a parenting plan and a parenting order?

Parenting orders are binding and enforceable by a court while parenting plans are not. If one parent breaches a parenting plan, there are no legal repercussions. However, if a parenting order case goes before a court, it must consider the plan's terms, although it is not bound by them.

Do I need consent from my ex to relocate?

If you can't reach an agreement with your ex-partner, you may need to apply to the court for permission to move. A judge will look at several factors when deciding whether or not to allow you to relocate, including the child's best interests and their relationship with the other parent. As experienced child custody lawyers in all matters related to family law, we can help.