1.What is a parenting order?
A parenting order is a court order that sets out who has responsibilities for children. An order can cover:
- who the child will live with
- how much time the child will spend with each parent and with other people, such as grandparents
- the allocation of parental responsibility
- how the child will communicate with a parent they do not live with, or other people
- any other aspect of the care, welfare or development of the child
2. When do I need a parenting order?
If parents require a legally enforceable arrangement, a parenting order is needed.
If the relationship is amicable, a parenting plan may be the best option. Many people find them useful as a record of the agreement that has been reached and their plans for the future. However if you cannot reach an amicable agreement, you may wish to look into parenting orders.
3. How are parenting orders made?
Parenting orders can either be made through the court by ‘consent’ or by the court after a trial or hearing.
4. What does a parenting order mean for me?
You both have certain obligations upon entering into a parenting order;
- You must do everything a parenting order says.
- You must also positively encourage your children to comply with the orders.
- If a parenting order has been made that provides for a child to spend time with, live with, communicate with a person, or a person is to have parental responsibility for a child, then it is an offence to send the child from Australia without an order of the Court or without the consent in writing of the person in whose favour the order has been made. Penalty is imprisonment for three years.
- The order remains in force until a new parenting order or parenting plan changes it in some way.
- Even if the needs or circumstances of you, the child or the other party change, the court order applies until it is formally changed by a court or, in some situations, you enter into a parenting plan with the other party.
- Sometimes people talk to each other about changing arrangements set out in a parenting order. These talks do not change the order.
5. How can a lawyer help?
You should seek advice from a lawyer to assist you in making the best decision for you and your children. A lawyer can explain to you how the law applies to your situation; a lawyer can also assist in helping you reach an agreement before going to court or can help advocate for you during a mediation. A lawyer can also draft your parenting orders to ensure they are legally binding.
The above information has been sourced from
This is general advice, contact us today on (03) 7024 4270 for a consultation on your specific case.