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Family Law > Parenting Agreements

Parenting Agreements

When you need to know your options and your rights and you want swift attention to your Family Law concerns, the Anumis Dream Team has your back. We’ll listen to you, advise you, mediate, negotiate and litigate to take best care of all your legal needs.

Parenting Arrangements
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Navigate your Parenting Agreements: You can lean into our expert advice

One of the most challenging tasks you may face as a parent in the throes of separation is to come up with a plan that works for your child or for each of your children, taking care of their best interests and their unique needs – and meets the different circumstances of you and your former partner. Ideally, you and the other parent can focus on the best interests of your child or children and figure out a practical plan for your family moving forward. Often, this is neither easy or straightforward. There are no set recipes or rules to help you reach an agreement about care for your children.

Your parenting agreements can be:

  • an oral agreement; and/or
  • a written agreement; or
  • an agreement that is put before a Court and formalised, known as Consent Orders.

A parenting plan is a written record of your agreements about the care of your child or children. You can choose any format that suits you for your document. Remember to sign and date your parenting plan.

A parenting plan is not a legally enforceable agreement. If in your circumstances, your arrangements are best made so that they can be enforced, Consent Orders, are a safer option for you.  While a parenting plan may work out less costly and possibly less stressful, you will need to balance out whether you may require your parenting agreement to be enforced in the future.

Do you need help with your parenting agreement?  How Anumis Legal can advise, and assist you

When you are preparing your parenting arrangements we can consider your specific circumstances and assist you in the following ways including:

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Where to start!

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Topics to cover

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What to leave out in your situation

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How to negotiate your parenting plan

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General advice about your parenting plan

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What might happen if you cannot agree and what to do about it

Draft your Consent Orders for you

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Provide your proposed Consent Orders to your former partner for review

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File your Consent Orders with the Court

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What happens if there is a breach of Consent Orders

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What are your options when it comes to parenting agreements?

Parenting Plans

A parenting plan is a dated, signed, written document that details your agreed arrangements with the other parent for the care of your child or your children. Your parenting plan does not need to follow a particular format and it does not need to be witnessed. You do not have to formalise your parenting plan.

Note that a parenting plan is not legally enforceable. You can use your parenting plan as the foundation for Consent Orders if you wish to have a registrar seal your Orders in Court. A court will consider your most recent parenting plan if you apply for Court Orders down the track.

The benefit of a parenting plan is that it can save you money and stress, but it may not give you the certainty you need if your circumstances mean that an enforceable agreement will serve the best interests of your child or children better.

Parenting orders made by the court – court orders

If you and your former partner cannot agree a parenting plan, then you will have to apply to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of  Australia for Parenting Orders. While Consent Orders are filed to encapsulate and agreement between parents and approved and sealed by the court, and therefore binding on the parents, Parenting Orders are made by a Judge or Senior Judicial Registrar in a case where parents cannot agree.

A parenting order sets out the responsibilities of parents and other carers and it may include:

  • Where and with whom the children live
  • With whom the children spend significant time
  • Who the children communicate with and how the communication is to occur
  • Travel
  • Schooling
  • Medical Treatment
  • Changeovers
  • Any other issues

If two or more people share parental responsibility for the long-term decisions, a Parenting Order can cover how the parents will communicate with each other about arrangements and decisions for the child/children, such as  Coparenta, Cozi App, 2Houses or Talking Parents.

Both parents must be part of the Parenting Order, and you can apply for a parenting order if you are the child’s parent or any other person concerned for the welfare of the child, such as a grandparent. If the court requires more information to decide on what is in the best interests of the child or children, the Court may ask for a report from a family consultant or social worker.

The main consideration of the court is the child’s best interests. This includes:

  • Protection from physical or psychological harm
  • A meaningful relationship with both parents (if safe to do so)
  • Whether parental responsibility for long-term decisions is equal
  • Both parents’ attitudes to their parenting responsibilities
  • Factors of child abuse, risk, family violence and other issues

The court considers the age, emotional and intellectual maturity of the child in taking into account the wishes of the child.

Breaching a Court Order is serious. You or your former partner will require a reasonable excuse, if a Court Order is not followed. The Court can:

  • Change the existing Order
  • Impose severe penalties including jailtime, fines and community work.
  • Order you to participate in a parenting program run by an approved counselling service.

If your situation is urgent, you can apply for interim parenting orders to cover you from the time they are made, until final parenting orders are put in place.

Our Anumis Legal Family Law team are here to give you everything you need and so much more to ensure that you have the benefit of experience, practical advice and prompt attention to your particular circumstances. Call Nadine Love or Dr John Cronin now on 07 5455 6347 or email admin@anumis.com.au for your complimentary chat.

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Are parenting agreements legally binding?

It is important that you understand the difference between a Parenting Plan, Parenting Orders by Consent (Consent Orders) and Parenting Orders Made by the Court (Court Orders).

A parenting plan is not legally enforceable. However, if you have Consent Orders or a Parenting Order in place, if you go ahead and make a parenting plan after the order, it will make any terms of the original order, which are varied, legally unenforceable. A parenting plan can be changed at any time by making another written agreement, which is signed and dated by the children’s parents.

If you apply to the Court for Consent Orders, you can make your agreement legally binding. Consent Orders have the same legal effect as Parenting Orders. You can only change Consent Orders by a further parenting plan, consent order or parenting order. Consent Orders are legally enforceable.

A parenting order is an order made by the Court about your arrangements for care of your children and your responsibilities. When the Court is considering what Orders to make, it relies on The Family Law Act 1975. A Parenting Order is legally enforceable.

There can be serious consequences, if you or the other parent disregards Orders made by Consent or Parenting Orders.

If you need to decide on the most appropriate parenting arrangements for you and your child or children, it is very important for you to get legal advice at your earliest opportunity.

 

How Anumis Legal can assist You with Your Parenting Agreements

Getting your parenting agreements right for your family requires patience, skill and understanding of your needs, your children’s needs and your best guess at your future needs. Your parenting arrangements are there to give you certainty and a necessary framework to rely on when life does not necessarily go as planned.

When you are making agreements and plans that will affect you and your children now and into your futures, it is wise to seek expert legal advice so that you have covered all the angles you need to consider to ensure that your parenting agreements are made in the children’s best interests and address the needs of your child or children.

We can also assist you with your parenting disputes including:

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Name Changes

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Stepparent’s rights

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Applying for a divorce

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Parenting Arrangements

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Drafting and Filing Consent Orders

If you’d like to find out how we can assist you with your Parenting Agreement or parenting orders, depending on your situation, Call Nadine Love or Dr John Cronin on 07 5455 6347 or email admin@anumis.com.au for your complimentary chat. We look forward to assisting you.

Meet Our Team

 
Dr John Cronin

Dr John Cronin

Dr John Cronin holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management, a PHD in socially responsible investment, and is pursuing a further PHD in superannuation law. In his earlier engineering career, he led numerous large-scale equipment design and infrastructure development projects. A former financial and investment advisor, Dr John has a wealth of experience across banking, finance, and investment.

 
Nadine Love

Nadine Love

Nadine Love holds a Master’s Degree in Dramatherapy. In her earlier career as an author, mentor and trainer through her books, products, and coaching services she assisted people to transform their personal and professional lives to find confidence, clarity, success, and wellbeing. Nadine was awarded the 2020 NSW Bar Association Prize for Civil Litigation and Evidence.

You can depend on our Commercial Law and Family Law firm to get to know you and your needs in depth. Our expert legal advice, courteously tailored to your specific circumstances, is at your right hand to that you can make well informed choices round the clock. We have your back. To make your appointment or for further information: admin@anumislegal.com.au or call 07 54556347

 

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