Family Law Terminology that is Important to Understand

Family Law Terminology that is Important to Understand

The way in which we speak about family law has changed quite drastically over the past decade. Some terms have become outdated, and other terms have been introduced.

If you don’t deal with family law matters on a daily basis, you may be a little puzzled when reading through your family law documentation for the first time. But the good news is that the majority of changes in terminology have been made in an effort for parents to be able to understand laws and terminology with greater ease.

As a respected provider of family law services in Sydney, Lapointe Family Law is passionate about education and empowerment. In this article, we’ll be helping define current frequently used terms when it comes to family law.

Binding Child Support Agreements

Binding child support agreements were once referred to as ‘maintenance agreements’. This is a written agreement that lays out the child support payment that parents agree to pay. Both parents must sign this agreement in order for it to be effective. This agreement can only be created and signed once both parties have received independent legal advice.

Parental Responsibility

Parental responsibility refers to where parent/parents make important decisions in the child’s life, especially when it comes to things like religion, travel, healthcare, schooling etc. In most cases, parents share parental responsibilities, but there are cases in which one parent will be granted sole parental responsibility, and they will be responsible for these important decisions.

Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is a special document that outlines an agreement made by parents with regard to where the child will live, when the child will communicate with each parent, and how the child will be transported between households. It can also include details like routines and bedtimes, etc. While this document is not legally binding, it is still very useful to have.

Lives With/ Spends Time With

Terms like ‘lives with’ and ‘spends time with’ are used more frequently than they once were as, in many cases, they have replaced words like ‘custody’ and ‘access’, which are no longer used as these terms are often misleading and confusing. ‘Lives with’ and ‘spend time’ are self-explanatory terms that help describe a child’s living situation in a very simple way.

Are you looking for reliable and professional family law services in Sydney? Here at Lapointe Family Law, our experienced family lawyers offer a comprehensive range of family law services. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at (02) 9844 5492 should you have any questions for us.