Family Law and Divorce. Central Queensland.

Parenting and custody

Our lawyers act in all manner of different types of parenting cases.


Our significant degree of skill and experience in childrens matters and our familiarity with the requirements of the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court allow us to act swiftly and effectively to ensure parenting issues can be resolved in a timely fashion consistent with the best interests of your child or children. By law the best interests of the child are always the most important consideration. Australian law focuses on the rights of children to have an ongoing relationship with both parents so that separating from your partner or spouse doesn't mean that you are separating from your child or children. We will endeavor to negotiate an agreement that does the best by your children while protecting your rights also.


There are essentially four ways that parenting arrangements can be made.

  • Parenting Plans - written agreements signed by both parents but are not filed in the court.

  • Consent Orders - a Court Order mad e by consent without a parent having to attend court.

  • Court Proceedings - commencing legal proceedings in a Court to obtain a parenting order.

  • Informal Arrangements - entering into informal arrangements.


Issues of great importance which should be included in any agreement about children are issues such as where a child will live, how often they spend time with each of their parents,  the sharing of special event days such as birthdays, Christmas, and school holidays, and how parents make decisions about the care of their children once separated. The role that grandparents, step parents, and other important people play in the lives of children can also be considered, and appropriately addressed.


In the event that no agreement is reached, we can represent parties in court seeking an appropriate, timely and cost-effective outcome. Some parents cannot agree on what is in the children's best interests and need the assistance of a court order. Our lawyers are mindful of the delicate nature of parenting issues and the decisions which need to be made for children upon separation.


Specific parenting issues


Duffield Lawyers also have experience in dealing with specific parenting issues, such as:

  • disputed living and care arrangements (formerly known as custody and access)

  • recovery order proceedings,. domestic and international relocation order proceedings;. parentage (dna) testing procedures

  • international child abduction - Hague Convention

  • child passport issues & travel arrangements, including interstate and overseas travel

  • parenting plans

  • matters involving serious drug or alcohol abuse

  • matters involving criminal convictions

  • matters involving child abuse

  • matters involving serious domestic violence

  • matters involving babies

  • supervised contact matters

  • children with special needs, including autism spectrum disorder and hearing impairment

  • rights of grandparents and family members

  • matters involving representation of children by an independent lawyer.



Children's best interests

There a large and non-exhaustive range of considerations provided by the Family Law Act 1975 regarding children. The overriding consideration is what is in the children's best interests. Section 60CC of the Act goes into further detail as to how a Court determines what is in a child's best interests, there being both primary considerations and many additional consideration, which are non-exhaustive.


The primary considerations are:

  • the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents, and

  • the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm or being subjected to or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence.

Telephone: 4994 0725






Disclaimer:  The information on this website is not intended as legal counsel, and nor should it be considered as such.

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Contact us

 ​​Suite 4, Tannachy Centre,

49 Bolsover Street,

Rockhampton QLD 4700​

Telephone: (07) 4994 0725

Facsimile: (07) 4927 5222