If circumstances are difficult during separation, perhaps there is domestic violence involved or parents just cannot communicate effectively to reach agreement, then court intervention may be necessary to determine who the children will live with, how custody will be shared or how contact/visitation will take place.
If you're separating on good terms and able to agree on arrangements for your children, it's a good idea to ask the court to make your agreement into a Consent Order.
Orders may be obtained without notice within 24 hours.
All parents are natural guardians of their child at birth. If parents separate, they remain joint guardians of the child irrespective of who gets custody/ day-to-day care. A child can have more than one or two guardians, other adults can be made guardians of the child such as grandparents or a parent's new partner. Guardianship rights include decisions about where the child lives, goes to school, medical treatment, culture language and religion, as well as name changes.
If you have a dispute regarding guardianship decisions you may apply to court for a Guardianship Order to settle the dispute between you.
If you are uncertain about the paternity of your child, you may apply to court for a Paternity Order. The court usually makes a determination based on DNA tests.