A roadmap to Parenting After Separation
Come and see the team at Umbrella Family Law before discussing all things parenting with your former partner to find out what your rights are
Questions to ask yourself BEFORE discussing parenting arrangements with your former partner:
- What are the ages of your children?
- Which parent is best placed to have them in their primary care?
- Who can drop and collect the children from school/day-care and do their homework with them?
- Do your kids have any special needs or disabilities?
- What are your children’s own views? (For older children)
- How practical is it for the children to live with both of you?
- Have you factored in transport and accommodation?
- Are your children safe in the care of both of their parents? Is there any family violence
Do you and your former partner agree on care and living arrangements
(i.e. custody) for your children?
Well done on reaching an agreement! It’s time for you to schedule in consultation with us so we can talk you through the following options:
- Keep the informal verbal or written agreement as it is. You have more flexibility than if the Court makes orders as you can change your agreement whenever you like. However, this agreement will not be enforceable by the Court.
- Parenting Plan. You can draft this yourself, get us to do it for you, or obtain some help from a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.
- Consent orders. You will need us to draft these orders for you so they can meet the Family Court of Australia’s requirements. This document is enforceable by the Court.
Attend mediation, family dispute resolution or upon a child psychologist to try and resolve your parenting issues with your former partner.
Helpful hint:Please note that even if family dispute resolution is not a success for you and your former partner, you need a Section 60I Certificate to say that you tried it to file an Application with the Court.
Did you and your former spouse resolve your parenting issues at family dispute resolution?
Chat to Umbrella Family Law about a Parenting Plan, Consent Orders or keeping the informal verbal or written agreement as it is.
Legal terminology about parenting that you need to know:
- Consent Orders: Both parents agree (consent) to orders about their children. They put the text in a document named “Consent Orders”. They send it to the Court to be filed (stamped and lodged) and the judge makes the Orders. Now both parties must follow them.
- Enforceable: People will get in trouble if they do not follow what the document says.
- Equal shared parental responsibility: This means that both parents share and must talk to each other about major decisions in their child’s life including their child’s education, health, religion, changes to their name, and changes to the living arrangements. Important: This does not mean that EACH PARENT spends equal time with their children.
- Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner: A neutral third person who assists parents to reach an agreement on care and living arrangements for their children and documents it in a Parenting Plan.
- Parenting orders: These are orders that the Court makes about parental responsibility (in other words, where your children are going to live, when the children are going to spend time with each parentand any other detail concerning the kids).
- Parental responsibility: All parents are responsible for making important decisions about their child until they turn 18, irrespective of the parent’s gender.
- Parenting Plan: A document which sets out future care arrangements for your child. It can cover parental responsibility for the child, who the child lives with, child support and related issues. Important: It cannot be enforced by the court if one parent does not follow it.
- Section 60I Certificate: A Certificate which allows a person to file an Application in court for parenting orders.