Publish Date: June 4, 2020

If you are involved in a litigious parenting matter concerning the future care arrangements for your children, it is likely that you have heard the terms ‘Child Impact Report’ or ‘Family Report’.

Both documents constitute an independent expert opinion provided to the Court by a suitably qualified Child Court Expert, Psychologist, or Social worker, after a review of court documents and interviews with the parents and children. They are incredibly important documents that, whilst they are not legally binding, significantly influence the ultimate decision the Court makes in relation to Orders that are in the best interests of the children.

So what are the differences between these critical parental documents? See the below table for a quick overview.

Child Impact Report

Family Report

Paid for and arranged by the Court.
Usually private engagement. Costs range between $4,000 to $8,000 plus GST.
Prepared by Court Child Expert being an employee of the Court.
Prepared by a Psychologist or Social Worker in private practice.
No choice over expert appointed.
Can make various inquiries and choose suitable experts.
Focuses on the experiences and needs of the children.
Considers the broader family dynamics.
Shorter and succinct report.
More lengthy and comprehensive report.
Usually includes an assessment of;
The impact of the dispute and separation on the children;
The needs of the children;
The experiences of the children;
The developmental stages of the children;
The capacity of the children to be interviewed; and
An examination of the parent’s actions in contributing to the effects on the children.
Usually includes an assessment of;
The issues in dispute;
The historical care arrangements;
The current care arrangements;
The parenting capacity;
The children’s relationship with significant others;
The children’s wishes and views;
Any risks to the children; and
The best interests of the children.
Most matters only require 1 Child Impact Report.
Family Reports are likely to require updating before a final hearing.
The report is provided to the Judge who releases it to the parties.
Report is provided to the parties who then file an Affidavit of the expert.
Need Legal Help?

If you would like more information on Child Impact Reports or Family Reports, please contact the Brisbane Family lawyers team at James Noble Law today for a free, no-obligation 20-minute consultation to discuss your parenting matter and situation. To schedule an appointment with one of our Qualified and experienced Family lawyers Brisbane.