What is a Family Report?

In parenting cases, a family report can be a very important and useful document. A family report is an independent report written by a court-appointed family consultant. The report will give an assessment of what are the relevant parenting issues in your case and will give recommendations to the court about what is in the best interests of your children. Whilst the focus of the report will always be what is the children’s best interests the court can direct the consultant to focus on specific issues in the report if needed.

You, your former partner and your children will be interviewed by the family consultant. The children (depending on their age) will be seen with the parents and separately. After the interviews the consultant will consider all the evidence and circumstances involved in your dispute (including court documents already filed in your matter) and write up a report.

Things that the report may discuss include:

  • A brief description of each parent and child’s family history and any significant events that may have affected or may affect the dispute.
  • The parents desires to resolve the dispute.
  • The parent’s attitudes, willingness and capacity to adjust to change.
  • Your child/rens wishes and views regarding the separation.
  • What your relationship is like with your children and how the children view that relationship.
  • The difficulties, risks and effects that a change in circumstance could cause to your family unit.

If you are required to participate in a family report your solicitor will be able to talk you through what is involved. We also have our own in-house Family and Child Specialist who may be able to assist you.

The Family Law Act and theFamily Law Rules outline more information about what is involved in a family report.