A parenting Order is an Order made by the Family or Federal Circuit Court that sets out the parenting arrangements for a child. The Order may, amongst other things, cover:
- Where the child will live
- How much time the child is to spend with each parent and by what means
- Who can make long-term decisions about the child
- Travel arrangements including overseas
FILING YOUR COURT APPLICATION
Before filing an application for parenting Orders, you generally must:
- Read the Marriage, Families and Separation brochure; and
- Attend Family Dispute Resolution (FDR).
To file a parenting application, you may be required to file the following documents:
- Initiating Application
- Notice of Notice Risk
HOW DOES THE COURT DECIDE
The paramount consideration when making parenting Orders is the child’s best interests. In determining what is in the child’s best interests, there are primary and additional considerations.
Primary considerations include:
- The benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents; and
- The need to protect the child from harm.
Additional considerations, amongst other things, include:
- The views of the child;
- The nature of the child’s relationship with the parents;
- The effect of a change in circumstances;
- The practical difficulties in an arrangement.
WHAT IF YOU AGREE ON A PARENTING ARRANGEMENT
If you agree on your parenting arrangements you might consider formalising your plan into a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders noting that different rules apply to each. A Parenting Plan is a written agreement that can provide structure to your arrangement, while Consent Orders are agreements that are approved by the Court and are enforceable like other Court Orders.
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