Parenting order in Australia

Dec 10, 2023

Understanding Parenting Orders

Parenting orders in Australia are legal decisions made by the court, which dictate the responsibilities of both parents when it comes to their children. These orders can cover various aspects such as who the child will live with, the time they will spend with each parent, and other aspects of their care and welfare. Understanding these orders is crucial for all parents navigating a separation or divorce.

parenting order

The Types of Parenting Orders

There are four main types of parenting orders in Australia: residence, contact, specific issues, and maintenance orders. Residence orders specify whom the child will live with. Contact orders determine the time the child will spend with the parent they do not live with. Specific issues orders cover particular aspects of the child's upbringing such as education and health. Finally, maintenance orders deal with financial support for the child.

Applying for a Parenting Order

Before applying for a parenting order, parents are required to attempt family dispute resolution. This is a process where a neutral third party assists the parents in reaching an agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, then a certificate is issued which allows the parents to apply to the court for a parenting order.

family dispute resolution

How the Court Makes Decisions

When making a decision about parenting orders, the court's primary concern is the best interests of the child. Several factors are considered, including the child's views, their relationship with each parent, and any risk of violence or harm. The court also takes into account the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent.

Changing a Parenting Order

A parenting order remains in effect until the child turns 18, unless it is changed by the court. To change a parenting order, there must be a significant change in circumstances and the court must be convinced that the change is in the child's best interests.

changing parenting order

Enforcing Parenting Orders

If a parenting order is not being followed, the aggrieved party can apply to the court for enforcement. The court has a range of powers to enforce an order, including imposing a fine or a prison sentence, ordering attendance at a post-separation parenting program, or altering the terms of the existing order.

In Conclusion

Parenting orders play a crucial role in ensuring the wellbeing of children following the separation or divorce of their parents. Understanding the process and implications of these orders can help parents navigate this challenging time with greater ease and clarity.

parenting order conclusion