Child Impact Report vs Family Report – What’s the Difference?

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 which, 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

1. Paid for and arranged by the Court.
2. Prepared by Court Child Expert being an employee of the Court.
3. Focuses on the experiences and needs of the children.
4. No choice over expert appointed.
5. Shorter and succinct report.
6. Usually includes an assessment of;
> The impact of the dispute and separation on the children;
> The needs 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.

Family Report

1. Usually private engagement. Costs range between $4,000 to $8,000 plus GST.
2. Prepared by a Psychologist or Social Worker in private practice.
3. Can make various enquiries and chose suitable expert.
4. Considers the broader family dynamics.
5. More lengthy and comprehensive report.
6. 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
If you would like more information on Child Impact Reports or Family Reports, please contact – 1800 662 535