Parenting Orders are legally binding orders that relate to the care arrangements for children. Parenting Orders determine where children live, who they spend time with or when they communicate with their parents. For more information call us!
What are Parenting Orders?
Parenting Orders are legally binding orders that determine where children will live, who they spend time and when they communicate with their parents. Parenting Orders also include matters which relate to parental responsibility for major or everyday decisions for the care, welfare and upbringing of children.
Can Parenting Orders be made by agreement or consent?
Parents are strongly encouraged to work together and cooperatively to reach consent or agreements about their children’s custody or living arrangements. In working towards reaching Parenting Orders parents may choose to participate in lawyer-assisted mediation, negotiation or through collaborative family law practice.
Once agreement or consent is achieved, the agreement can be drafted by our specialist lawyers and become consent Parenting Orders.
What if my ex and I can't agree about the parenting arrangements for our children?
If you have tried everything to agree but feel that your ex is unreasonable and is not considering the best interests of the children, then you may have no choice but to seek parenting orders from the court.
In this case, the court will decide what is in the best interests of your child and will make orders about the custody of your children. The court will decide where your children will live, who they will spend time with and who will make the major decisions for the children’s welfare and upbringing.
Why do I need Parenting Orders?
Parenting orders provide you, the other parent and the children with stability and consistency in relation to the care, live with and spend time with arrangements for children.
Unlike parenting plans, they are legally binding and if they are breached then you can apply for contravention of the parenting orders.
General Information – Parenting Orders
Parenting Orders can be made by consent or by a court. It is always encouraged and preferable for parents to come together and reach agreement about the custody or parenting arrangements for their children when their relationship ends.
In fact, it is compulsory for parents to mediate first (unless their are exceptional or urgent matters) before they file any application at court seeking that the court make parenting orders.
In situations where there are allegations of child abuse or domestic violence or where there is an apprehended domestic violence order, it is usually not appropriate to mediate. If there is urgency such as a child abduction, mediation will be bypassed and the matter will need to be dealt with at court.
Whether parents mediate, collaborate or litigate their parenting matters, the primary and over-arching principle is that parenting orders must be in the best interests of the children.
To determine what is in the best interests of children, Section 60CC of the Family Law ACT provides a list of factors that must be considered. It is important to note that although all children have a right to a meaningful relationship with their parents, the need to protect children and keep them physically, emotionally and psychologically safe takes priority.
A parent, grandparent or a person who is concerned with the care, welfare or development of a child (such as step-parent) may apply to the court for Parenting Orders if agreement cannot be reached.