Need to know
- You are still responsible for your child if you are separated or divorced until the child reaches the age of 18 (unless decided by the Court)
- If you can’t agree on parenting arrangements, Family Dispute Resolution can help you work through any outstanding matters.
- If you still can’t agree, you can apply to the Court to decide on arrangements for you.
- Our priority is to avoid the need for Court, which can take years to decide on arrangements at significant financial and emotional cost.
What about the kids?
It is natural to worry about the impact of separation and divorce on your children. Negotiating parenting arrangements is a priority for most separating couples. Even if you still get along and are happy to work things out informally it is a good idea to have a plan that covers things like:
- Who the child will live with.
- Who the child will spend time with.
- How information about parenting arrangements will be exchanged between you and the other parent.
- How the child will communicate with each parent.
- How you will manage changeovers, sport and other activities, and looking after your child’s belongings (toys, personal items, school uniforms etc).
- What happens on special occasions (birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day etc).
- Any travel arrangements including international travel and passports.
- How you agree to speak about the other parent.
What are the options for parenting arrangements?
There are several ways you can work out parenting arrangements between you and your former partner:
- By agreement yourselves, formalised by a written parenting plan
- By applying for a consent order in the Family Court of Australia
- By entering a child support agreement
- If you can’t agree, by applying to the Family Law Courts (the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia) to seek resolution of parenting matters.
What is a parenting plan?
A parenting plan is a way for parents to resolve any outstanding issues between them in a formal written agreement. It’s a written agreement that both parents agree and sign, usually after a successful family dispute resolution process, to offer certainty around how you will manage all your shared parenting responsibilities. Parenting plans are not enforceable by law, but may be used as evidence if you do apply to the Court for consent orders in future.
What is a consent order?
Consent orders can deal with property, spousal maintenance and parenting matters; and once approved by the Court are binding and enforceable by law.
Our family law experts can advise you on the best approach for your unique family and financial circumstances.
When you can’t agree
The Court requires separating parents to make a genuine attempt to resolve any differences between themselves. This usually involves attending a family dispute resolution conference with a registered family dispute resolution practitioner.
When you still can’t agree on parenting matters, we can help you to apply to the Court to resolve family disputes and parenting matters.
Expert advice to keep you moving forward
Focus on what’s important. Let our experienced family lawyers help you get your parenting arrangements on track so you can get on with living life and enjoying time with your kids.
Speak to an experienced Gold Coast family lawyer today. Book a free 60 minute initial consultation with Quinn Family Law.