Becoming A Legal Guardian in Melbourne: State-Based Legislation Guidelines

For many parents, thinking about passing away and leaving their children alone is an overwhelming thought. While appointing a guardian in your Will informs those left behind of your wishes, it might not be a binding appointment. If you want to become a legal guardian in Victoria, Australia, there are specific steps you need to follow to ensure you can provide the necessary care for the child in question. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through becoming a legal guardian and explain some key terms and concepts you should know.

What are the guidelines in Melbourne, Victoria?

In Victoria, there’s no reference to “guardianship” concerning children. Instead, you can apply for a “permanent care order” under the Children, Youth, and Families Act 2005 (VIC) through the Children’s Court. You can do this either if the child’s parents die or if the child’s parents haven’t cared for them for six months.

Permanent care orders can convey parental responsibility of the children on the Guardian until the children reach 18 years. This is a legitimate alternative to seeking a parenting order under the Family Law Act. Keep in mind that the Court can’t make a permanent care order if a present application is made under the Family Law Act. 

We recommend pursuing this through the applicable provisions of the Family Law Act to ensure finality in appointing a “guardian” if seeking parental responsibility for a child in Victoria.

Child Support Services In Melbourne

The Australian Government provides child support services to help parents, guardians, and other caregivers meet children’s basic needs. In Melbourne Victoria, child support services are provided by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Child Support Agency (CSA). The Department of Human Services (DHS) offers various child support services, including financial assistance, counselling, and dispute resolution.

Family Lawyer for Children

As the name suggests, a family lawyer for children is a legal professional specialising in cases involving children, such as custody disputes, child protection matters, and adoption proceedings. They can provide legal advice and guidance on becoming a legal guardian and help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities. Your Melbourne family lawyers can also represent you in Court, prepare legal documents, negotiate with the other parties involved in the case, and ensure your interests and the child’s best interests are protected.

Child Custody

Custody is the legal right to decide a child’s care and upbringing. In Victoria, custody matters are governed by the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and the Family Law Regulations 1984 (Cth), as well as the Children, Youth, and Families Act 2005 (Vic) and the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic). To become a legal guardian, you need to apply for custody of the child. This can be a complex process.

How to Choose a Child Custody Lawyer In Melbourne

A child custody lawyer is a legal professional who specialises in cases involving children’s custody. In Victoria, child custody lawyers are regulated by the Legal Profession Uniform Law (Victoria) and the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015 (Vic). When choosing a child custody lawyer, look for a firm with experience and expertise in family law and child custody matters. Try Googling ‘Child Custody Lawyer near me.” 

Becoming a legal guardian in Victoria, Australia, involves following state-based legislation guidelines, working with child support services, consulting with a family lawyer for a child, and navigating the legal system. 

At The Family Lawyer, we only practice family law. Specialising allows us to focus on all aspects of family law, including separation and divorce, property settlements, parenting arrangements, and child support. With the proper support and guidance, you can become a legal guardian and provide a stable and loving home for the child in your care. Contact our family lawyers in Melbourne today.


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Kehsee Ng

Family Lawyer

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