Issues may arise between you and your former spouse or partner in relation to the parenting arrangements for your children regarding where the children are to reside or time the children will spend with each parent.
We will endeavour to assist you in reaching agreement in relation to the parenting arrangements for your children which are in the best interests of each child. We will encourage disputes to be settled through Family Dispute Resolution as opposed to having to resort to Court proceedings unless it becomes obvious that it is necessary for you to take the matter to Court. In this event we will work with you to present persuasive arguments and evidence to the Court.
What are Parenting Plans and Consent Orders?
In the event that you reach agreement in relation to the future arrangements for the care and welfare of your children rather than going to Court you have the option to:-
– Enter into a Parenting Plan stating the parenting arrangements you have agreed on for your children which is signed by bother of you; or
– Apply for Consent Orders whereby the Court approves the agreed parenting arrangements if it is deemed by the Court that acceptable arrangements have been put in place for the children.
What Are Your Options if You Cannot Reach Agreement with Your Former Spouse/Partner?
In the event that you are unable to reach agreement you can:-
– Do nothing which is unlikely to be in the best interests of your children and will not resolve the disputes; or
– File an application in the Court whereby the dispute will firstly be referred to Family Dispute Resolution. If the dispute cannot be resolved through Family Dispute Resolution, then the Court will give directions for you to prepare the matter for a Court hearing.
The Best Interests of the Child
The Court decides what is in the ‘best interest’ of your children by referring to matters set out in Section 60CC of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). The primary consideration is the benefit of your child having a meaningful relationship with both parents and ensuring that your child is protected from physical or physiological harm.