Parenting Arrangements

Parenting Arrangements

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Parenting arrangements 

If you and your previous partner agree on arrangements for the children, you can formalise your agreement in a Parenting Plan or Court Orders. In Australia, arrangements must be in the best interests of the children and parties should always be child focused.

Any person concerned with the care, welfare and development of a child can participate in developing a Parenting Plan or seek Court Orders. This may include a child’s parents, grandparents, or any other significant person in the child’s life.

Parenting Plans and Court Orders set out important decisions for your children. For example, ensuring both parents have Equal Shared Parental Responsibility for major long term issues. This includes decisions about your children’s education, religion and cultural upbringing, health, names, and living arrangements. Plans and Orders can formalise how much time your children spend in each person’s care, arrangements for special occasions including Christmas, Easter, birthdays and Mother’s and Father’s Day, how information is shared, changeover, and conduct of the parties (i.e. speaking respectfully of the other party in front of the children).

You must make a genuine effort to resolve any issues through mediation or Family Dispute Resolution. If you have attempted mediation or Family Dispute Resolution and cannot agree on arrangements for the children, you can ask the mediator for a ‘section 60I certificate’ and take the matter to Court.

Parenting Plans

While a Parenting Plan is a written agreement between parties, it is not legally binding. It is also not filed in Court. It is a mutual agreement with the other parent or person and only valid while both people agree to it.

Court Orders

To have parenting arrangements that are legally binding, parties can develop their own agreement in writing, participate in a private mediation, or participate in a Family Dispute Resolution Conference organised by Legal Aid Queensland.

If you reach agreement about arrangements for the children, you do not need to physically attend Court. We can help prepare the required documents to file in Court and ask the Court to make the arrangements legally binding. 

What if we don’t agree? 

If you and your former partner cannot agree on arrangements for the children you may need to bring the matter to Court. This would mean initiating parenting proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.  We can help prepare documents and attend Court so your children have a meaningful relationship with you. 

Speak to a lawyer 

Click here to speak to a lawyer about parenting arrangements for your children.

We can also assist you in the Federal Circuit of Australia and Family Court of Australia if you have a matter relating to:

  • Recovery and Relocation Orders for children;
  • Contravention of Parenting Orders; and
  • Magellan matters before the Family Court of Australia.


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