Separation is an emotionally difficult time. Trying to make decisions that are in the best interests of your children can be extremely stressful when you are in the middle of a relationship breakdown.

No matter how amicable a separation is, a family lawyer is a worthwhile investment to make sure the interests of the children and family relationships are protected.

We strongly suggest that all parents put in place a written agreement to clarify and formalise parenting arrangements. This can be done by what’s known as a parenting plan, which can be compiled and put in place by our experienced family lawyers. Or, a more formal option is a parenting order which is sanctioned by the court.

De Saxe O’Neill are family lawyers with experience in parenting plans and orders. We can also act in cases of parental alienation when necessary, and advise you on your parental rights…

If you’re going through a separation and want to protect the best interests of your children, contact De Saxe O’Neill family lawyer on the Northern Beaches.

Some areas where De Saxe O’Neill can act in relation to a parenting plan and parental rights include:

Parenting plans

The Family Law Act strongly emphasises that children should continue to have a strong and meaningful relationship with both parents.

While we recognise this is not always easy to achieve, it is important to know the decisions you make early on in a relationship breakdown can shape how well your children cope with these significant changes.

There is no standard formula for how much time children should spend with each parent, but their best interests should always be put first. That’s why our family lawyers keep up to date with all relevant literature and judicial decisions so they can help you make these important decisions.

Family Court

In some cases, it may be necessary to go to the Family Court to obtain a parenting order.

As expert custody lawyers, we are skilled in advising you on your rights and options under the law and explaining how the Family Court will go about making decisions about custody and care arrangements for children.

Parental alienation

While children have the right to a relationship with both parents under Australian Family Law, in a divorce or separation situation, sometimes one parent may take steps to intentionally sabotage the child’s relationship with the other parent. This is known as parental alienation.

If you are concerned that your co-parent is engaging in alienating behaviours, De Saxe O’Neill can act for you in your parental alienation case.

Termination of parental rights

Under Australian law, children have the right to live in an environment where they are safe from harm.

If you have any concerns about the behaviour of your child’s other parent, including sexual, physical or emotional abuse, or any other aspects of their relationship with their other parent, then get in touch with family lawyers at De Saxe O’Neill right away. We can advise on the steps which need to be taken, which can include termination of parental rights.


  • The Law sociaty of NSW
  • Doyles - Family Law 2020
  • Family Law Section - Law Council of Australia - Member 2019/2020
  • Collaborative Professionals (NSW) inc

Contact Us

‘Bakery Mews’ Suite 6,
67 Wanganella Street, Balgowlah NSW 2093
Phone: 02 9948 3820