When you separate from the other parent of your child or children, one of the most emotionally charged and challenging issues you are likely to face is how to determine your arrangements for care of your child or children. Parenting Consent Orders can provide an enforceable, cost-effective way to formalise child care arrangements between you and the child’s other parent.  These legally binding agreements outline the roles, responsibilities, and decision-making parameters for both parents with respect to the children’s care, welfare, and upbringing. Consent orders can be a valuable tool to foster an amicable and collaborative resolution to family law disputes while protecting the best interests of the children involved. Your ability to put appropriate childcare arrangements in place means that your child will benefit from certainty, routine, and stability.

Once Parenting Consent Orders have been sealed, both you and the child’s other parent are legally bound by the agreed arrangements, which can only be altered by applying for leave of the Court. This means that when you are thinking about the arrangement you wish to include in your Parenting Consent Orders you would be wise to seek legal advice from an experienced family lawyer – not least because there may be a host of possible options and possibilities for your family that you may not be aware of.  The more knowledge you have and the more prepared you are in terms of your legal requirements and obligations, the greater your opportunity for your most appropriate, calm, and speedy set of arrangements for your child.

Our aim is to equip you with what you must know to approach planning for your parenting consent orders with the purpose of contributing to a more cooperative and positive outcome for you and for your children. This clear guide outlines the steps you need to take, concepts you must consider, and provides you with practical tips and useful resources to assist you while you nut out the arrangements that may ideally suit you and your children.

Understanding Parenting Consent Orders

1. What Are Parenting Consent Orders?

Parenting Consent Orders are designed to provide a legally binding framework for parents to formalise the agreements that they have achieved on their children’s care, including living arrangements, education, medical decisions, travel, and various aspects of their welfare. If it is safe to do so, a benefit of agreeing Parenting Consent Orders to encapsulate your parenting arrangements into the future is to foster a more friendly and collaborative resolution to your unique family law dispute while ensuring that the best interests of your children are protected.

2. Legal Enforceability

Once approved by the court, consent orders to formalise your parenting arrangements become legally enforceable. You and your child’s other parent will both be held accountable for adhering to the agreed-upon terms. Failure to comply with the orders can result in serious legal consequences, such as parenting orders being modified, or penalties being imposed.

Preparing for your Parenting Consent Orders

Here are some steps you can take so that you can prepare for your parenting consent orders:

1. Open Communication and Negotiation

If you are going to appoint a beneficiary as executor of your estate, then discuss the prospect with the individual of your choice and ensure they understand the responsibilities and expectations associated with the role. Communication is vital when it comes to appointing an executor, as misunderstandings or miscommunications may lead to complications during the administration of your estate.

2. Specific Needs and/or Unique Circumstances

Consider any special circumstances or unique needs your children may have. As you work towards formalising a plan between you and the other parent, consider the challenges, commitments, gifts, and talents of each child. Ensure that the agreement you are shaping includes practical ways to support your child to engage in the activities they enjoy and that nourish their growth and development. If your child is a budding chess champion, Dungeons and Dragons fanatic, golfer, musician, netballer, or surfer ensure that the arrangements you make support the continuity and structure your child needs to flourish regardless of your separation.

There may be specific cultural, medical, social and travel needs that require extra thinking about and negotiating with the other parent. If you take time to find flexible options that suit your family, you will likely come up with tailored arrangements that can be clearly formalised in the very best interests of your child.

If you seem to be out of new ideas and you are struggling to find options that fit, an empathic, experienced family lawyer can be a great source of ideas and inspiration so that you can come up with practical parenting arrangements that work for you and your child.

3. Obtain Legal Advice

It is crucial to consult with an experienced family law professional to ensure that your plan for your parenting arrangements is comprehensive, legally sound, and consistent with your children’s best interests up until they reach eighteen years of age. A lawyer can provide invaluable guidance, helping you identify any potential weaknesses or areas of improvement in your parenting arrangements and advising on any important legal considerations.

4. Drafting Your Consent Orders

Once you have taken solid legal advice your next step is to have a family lawyer draft your parenting consent orders. This document outlines the specific terms and conditions of your agreement, drafted in accordance with the legal requirements pursuant to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). Meticulous drafting is essential to ensure that the consent orders are appropriate, practical, and accurately reflect your intentions.

5. Submitting the Consent Orders to the Court

With your parenting consent orders drafted, you and the other parent must sign and submit the document to the Family Court for review and approval, along with an Application for Parenting Consent Orders.  This is a step that your family lawyer can do for you. A registrar of the court will assess the orders, ensuring that they are in the best interests of your children and in compliance with relevant laws. Once approved, the parenting consent orders become legally enforceable, and both you and the other parent must adhere to the agreed-upon terms.

Essential Considerations During the Process

1. Child’s Best Interests

The paramount consideration when preparing parenting consent orders is the best interests of your child or children. Ensure that all facets of the parenting agreement are centred on promoting your child’s emotional, physical, and psychological well-being, while also nurturing a meaningful, positive, loving relationship with each parent as far as possible – and as far as your child is free from exposure to harm on any level.

2. Flexibility and Adaptability

As your children grow and develop, their aims, challenges, and circumstances change. Your a parenting consent orders will be in place until your child reaches the age of eighteen years. Be sure to incorporate enough flexibility within your parenting agreement to accommodate for your child’s developmental requirements, any potential changes, or unforeseen circumstances. Your foresight will enable smoother transitions for your child and likely assist to maintain certainty, stability, and structure into their future and yours.

3. Maintaining a Positive Co-parenting Relationship

Parenting consent orders have the power to influence and shape your co-parenting relationship with the other parent for years to come. Therefore, it is essential to adopt a constructive, open-minded approach during the negotiations, ensuring that both parties work together to create mutually agreed-upon arrangements that maintain a harmonious and supportive co-parenting environment.

4. The Importance of Legal Support and Guidance

When you are looking to nut out and finalise your post-separation parenting arrangements, engaging the services of an experienced family law professional is profoundly helpful to ensure that your parenting consent orders are appropriate, comprehensive, legally enforceable, practical, and aligned with the best interests of your child or children. Choose an understanding family lawyer to ease your parenting arrangements process through sound and timely advice and patient and prompt, responsive action when called for. Your lawyer can provide expert advice, assist in drafting the consent orders, and guide you through the court approval process, offering crucial reassurance and support throughout what can be an emotional, intense, and stressful journey.

Securing Your Best Parenting Outcomes with Anumis Legal

Preparing your parenting consent orders is a significant process that requires diligent planning , open communication and expert, experienced legal assistance to ensure the best outcome for your children and your family. By working closely with the other parent and prioritising your children’s best interests, you can develop a comprehensive and legally enforceable arrangement that can foster an amicable and cooperative resolution to your family law dispute.

Are you figuring out your care arrangements for your child on separating? Contact our expert family lawyers, right now!

If you are facing a separation or divorce and you need assistance with your parenting consent orders, contact the Family Law Dream team at Anumis Legal to discuss your specific situation. Our experienced family law professionals are committed to supporting you every step of the way, ensuring that your parenting consent orders are well-crafted, legally sound, and focused on the best interests of your children.

To navigate the complexities of this process with confidence and to ensure that you secure your optimal outcomes for you and your child, call Anumis Legal now. The Anumis Legal Family Law Dream Team are here to help you to navigate your most difficult transitions with confidence, compassion, and empathic, expert guidance tailored to your unique needs and circumstances. Reach out to Anumis Legal today to discuss your options and secure your financial future. For your complimentary chat with our expert family lawyers, call 07 5455 6347 or email admin@anumis.com.au now. We look forward to assisting you.


Nadine Love

Nadine Love is a lawyer and part of “the dream team” at Anumis Legal. She completed her law degree at Southern Cross University and received the New South Wales Bar Association Prize for Evidence and Civil Litigation. In addition to her passion for family law and therapeutic jurisprudence Nadine is also a celebrated international author, personal & business coach, drama therapist and motivational mentor. Nadine’s interests encompass swimming and walking in the rainforest with golden retriever Anu, and Australian Shepherds, Lex, and Onyx. She combines her strengths of advocacy, empathy and out-of-the box problem solving to support her clients to achieve their best legal outcomes.

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