What are parenting orders and how are they made?
A parenting order (sometimes referred to as child custody) is an order of a court issued pursuant to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). A parenting order may deal with, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:
- when or how a child may travel;
- the person or persons with whom a child is to live;
- the time a child is to spend with another person or other persons;
- the allocation of parental responsibility for a child;
- the communication a child is to have with another person or other persons;
- medical matters;
- education; or
- maintenance of a child.
The overarching concern of the Family Court is to make orders that are in the best interest of the child. Unless there is good reason to do otherwise, the Court will presume that it is in the best interest of a child for parents to have shared responsibility.
Who can get a parenting order?
It is not only parents who can ask the Court to make a parenting order. Any person who has an interest in the care, welfare and development of a child can ask the Court to make a parenting order. This includes grandparents, step-parents and legal guardians.
Before you make an application to the Court to resolve any dispute concerning children, you are usually required to attend Family Dispute Resolution to attempt to resolve the dispute first. After you finish dispute resolution, you’ll be given a certificate to file with your application.
Are you concerned about a breach of a parenting order?
If you are concerned that a party may have breached a parenting order, you should consider seeking legal advice. Our experienced family lawyers can provide you with tailored advice to ensure you achieve the best possible outcome for your child or children following a separation.