Perth Divorce Lawyers can help you reach an outcome that is in your children’s best interests.

Children & parenting matters

Experienced family lawyers here to help

If you have a family law parenting matter or Family Court proceedings underway, Perth Divorce Lawyers can help. Our lawyers have over 25 years of experience in family law and can help you achieve the best outcome for your family.

Perth parenting lawyers

Guiding you with care, experience and compassion

Following the breakdown of a relationship, one of the most important decisions parents will face, is the future care and living arrangements for the children of their relationship.

These are undoubtedly highly sensitive issues and the best interests of your child should be the strongest consideration, including protecting your child from harm and/or exposing them to risk of harm. You should also bear in mind the time your child spends with each parent must be reasonably practicable.

You will need to consider matters such as who has parental responsibility for a child, how decisions about a child are to be made, where and with whom your child should live and the time the child spends with the other parent as well as other significant people in your child’s life e.g. grandparents.

Sometimes parents cannot reach agreement about what is in their children’s best interests and they need the court to make decisions for them.


Leading parenting lawyers

Successfully negotiating or litigating children and parenting matters

If you want to apply for a parenting order, in most cases, you will have to comply with “pre-action procedure”. This includes trying to negotiate the terms of your parenting agreement. This process is known as “compulsory family dispute resolution”.

Some cases may be exempt from dispute resolution e.g. if your matter is very urgent or there is a risk of child abuse.

You can get more information from us about, or we can help arrange, your family dispute resolution (mediation).

If mediation is successful, you have the option to enter into either a Parenting Plan or apply to the Family Court for parenting orders by consent.

If your mediation is unsuccessful, you will be issued with a certificate which must be filed with an Initiating Application to the Family Court seeking parenting orders. If you are exempt from filing a certificate, you must file an exemption form with your Initiating Application.


Perth Divorce Lawyers

First consultation

Contact us to arrange a fixed fee consultation with no ongoing obligation. You decide the scope of our involvement in your matter, whether that be once off legal advice or ongoing legal representation.

We investigate. We listen.

We give your matter the attention it deserves. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with the highest standard of representation – no matter how simple or complex your matter, it is our priority.

Exceptional client care

We understand that every client is unique. We take the time to get to know you and your situation. We are transparent, approachable and here to help, structuring our legal services to best suit your needs.

Your case is handled by experienced senior lawyers

You can rely on consistent legal representation. Work with the same experienced lawyer every step of the way.

We are are a boutique family law firm

As a boutique law firm, we can give your matter the attention it deserves. We thrive on matters that are complex or that require a different approach.

Your outcome is our priority

Perth Divorce Lawyers is a results-driven family law firm. We are here to help, let us navigate you toward a time and cost-effective resolution.

Your family law parenting matter – the process

Let our experience empower you

We will help you understand the underlying law and the Family Court system, providing legal advice every step of the way.

With our knowledge and experience you will have a thorough understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of your different options. 

Initial consultation

Meet with one of our experienced family lawyers. We are approachable and aim to provide clear legal advice across all areas of family law including your parenting matter.

Parenting by agreement

Parents are encouraged to reach their own agreement about the living arrangements that will work best for their children following separation. These agreements can be documented in a range of ways.

Family dispute resolution

If the parents cannot agree on their parenting arrangements, we will help you mediate your differences to try and reach a solution. If successful, you can avoid potentially stressful court proceedings.

Family Court

Sometimes parents cannot reach agreement about what is in their children’s best interests and they need the Court to make decisions for them.

Children and parenting matters – tips & advice

Simplifying the process for you

Considering the children

Your children’s well-being and best interests are foremost in parenting matters. It is important for parents to keep in mind that they will be dealing with the other parent for many years into the future.

Remove stress – there is help

There is no substitute for experience. Our lawyers have more than 25 years’ experience in all areas of family law. Let us help navigate your family law parenting matter and guide you to resolution.

Understand the underlying law

The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth.) and Family Court Act 1997 (WA) provide that, in parenting matters, the best interests of the child are the paramount consideration.

Take the process one step at a time

We understand this is a difficult time, but these issues do get resolved in due course. Our experience and legal knowledge will assist you move past these difficulties and towards a better future for you a



Satisfied clients


Ballajura, WA
Annelie Van Zyl provided me with excellent legal service. Going through a divorce including property settlement, I didn’t know what to expect. Aside from her obvious skill and remarkable success rate, Mrs. Van Zyl is genuinely committed to her clients. …


Hocking, WA
I approached Perth Divorce Lawyers as I was referred by a good friend and colleague and needed specialised assistance with my Family Court matter. Perth Divorce Lawyers helped me though the complex process of my matters. As there were a number of issues there was a lot of preparation before the hear…


Perth, WA
I approached Perth Divorce Lawyers because I required assistance with my Family Court proceedings mainly requiring legal assistance with parenting and financial matters including the preparation of my will and divorce matters.Perth Divorce Lawyers helped me by providing sound legal advice, complet…


Aveley, WA
Under difficult and emotional circumstances I received expert guidance throughout the legal process. Yes, it is expensive that I can’t deny though in retrospect my final settlement and fees were better than forecast. The decision to choose Annelie and pursue a fair share of assets was without doubt …


Kalgoorlie, WA
Thank you guys for everything will recommend you to everyone who needs a lawyer. …


Perth, WA
Again, thank you so much for your generosity, empathy and strength to fight alongside myself.  From very early on I remained determined to never give up and let [XXX] decide how I would live out my life financially.  I could not have done this without you. I chose very wisely. …


Morley, WA
The quality and promptness of your advice and service has been excellent throughout this experience. Hence you will have noticed I have recommended your services to several acquaintances. …


Bassendean, WA
You’ve been wonderful through the process. Thanks so much. …


Marangaroo, WA
Thank you for all your help and support really appreciate it. …


Ellenbrook, WA
Thank you for everything I appreciate everything done by you. I will recommend your company when I hear of any family matters. …


Clarkson, WA
Thank you for all your hard work. Without you I wouldn’t have been able to navigate family court or settle our finances. You have been amazing.  …


Midland, WA
Thank you very much for your help in this matter. Hopefully there will be no need for it but if I ever need to deal with Family Court matters I will be sure to give you a call. …


Malaga, WA
Thank you for all your advice and help. You are the best! …


Ellenbrook, WA
Up to now all has gone smoothly with my separation. Thank you for your services. …


Perth, WA
What a crazy journey – I really do appreciate the post Family Court Conciliation conference assistance you’ve provided. …


Karratha, WA
Thanks Annelie, perfect again. …


Girrawheen, WA
Thank you for all you have done for me. …


Perth, WA
Thank you for reviewing and editing the Minute – I am very pleased with these changes. Annelie, thank you. You’re amazing at what you do. …


During the initial consultation we get to know each other and discuss the history of your relationship, what you are concerned about and what you hope to achieve.   We will ask you questions about your children, how they have been cared for during the relationship and after separation, how they are managing, any concerns you have and what type of parenting arrangement you are hoping to have in future.

You may like to prepare a summary of important information such as the children’s dates of birth as well as education and special needs.  If possible, bring in a copy of your marriage certificate if you have one and the birth certificates for each of your children.  This will help if you want us to do ongoing work, as we will already have copies of these documents.  If there is a restraining order in place and/or bail conditions apply, it is important that we are provided with that information preferably copies of the relevant documents.

Yes.  Your information is confidential.  All communications between our office and you are covered by legal professional privilege.  This is a rule of law protecting communications between legal practitioners and their clients from disclosure.  A solicitor is professionally and legally obliged to keep the affairs of their clients confidential.  The underlying principle is that a person should be entitled to seek and obtain legal advice without the concern of being prejudiced by subsequent disclosure of confidential communications.

We will not disclose our communications with you to others and you should not either.  Doing so could be a waiver, directly or implicitly, of your legal professional privilege.  The waiver of your legal professional privilege could have serious consequences for you.


Congratulations.  The hardest part is reaching agreement.  How you formalise this agreement will depend on what the agreement you have reached relates to.

Parenting arrangements can be resolved informally, with a Parenting Plan or with court orders.  Court orders can be made by consent.  How you document the agreement will have implications if you need to enforce the agreement in future so it is important to take legal advice on your options.

There are primarily two types of child custody arrangements: physical and legal custody. Within these, you can have sole or joint arrangements. Sole means one parent holds the rights, while joint means these rights are shared. Physical custody refers to where the child resides, and legal custody pertains to decision-making rights regarding the child’s welfare.

Yes, a child’s preference can potentially be considered, especially if the child is mature enough to express a reasonable preference. The weight given to the child’s preference can vary and is generally one of many factors the court considers.

To best prepare, gather relevant documents, such as school records or medical records, demonstrating your involvement and care for the child. You might also consider seeking character references. A lawyer can guide you on building a strong case and presenting it effectively in court.

In WA, grandparents, stepparents, and other relatives can apply for custody or visitation rights, especially if they have been significantly involved in the child’s life. However, it is vital to demonstrate that the proposed arrangement is in the child’s best interests.

Relocating can significantly affect custody arrangements. Generally, the relocating parent must notify the other parent and possibly the court well in advance, with the final decision focusing on how the move impacts the child’s welfare and relationships.

In cases involving unmarried parents, custody is generally determined based on the child’s best interests, similar to cases involving married parents. Establishing paternity can be a crucial step here, allowing the father to have rights regarding custody decisions.

Domestic violence or abuse is taken very seriously. It can heavily influence custody decisions, potentially limiting or supervising the access of the abusive parent to protect the child’s safety and well-being.

Yes, a custody order can be modified if there has been a significant change in circumstances, and if the modification serves the best interests of the child. Legal counsel can guide you through this process.

Joint custody implies that both parents share responsibilities and decision-making regarding the child’s upbringing. Effective communication and collaboration are essential to ensure the child’s needs are met and their welfare is prioritised.

A guardian ad litem is a court-appointed lawyer who represents the best interests of the child in custody cases. They investigate the circumstances and provide a report to the court to help determine the most suitable custody arrangement.