Commonly asked questions about parenting plans

Your plan should encompass the following matters.

  • Who the child lives with
  • Who the child spends time with and how they communicate with the other parent
  • What happens on important days such as Christmas, Easter, school holidays, the children’s birthdays, father’s day, mother’s day, the mother’s birthday and the father’s birthday
  • What time the child will spend with other people such as grandparents, siblings, step parents, or any other people who are important in your child’s life
  • The decision-making process for important decisions concerning the child (eg schooling, health)
  • Financial arrangements for the children
  • The process for resolving any disputes about the arrangements in your plan

No. You can make or change a parenting plan at any time without the need for a lawyer. Seeking legal advice may be beneficial to ensure that you have covered all of the necessary considerations in your plan, and that the best interests of your children have been prioritised.

In the case of a dispute you can apply to the court for parenting orders. The informal parenting plan you made with your ex-partner will be taken into consideration by the court (as long as it is in writing, has been signed by both parents and was made without threats or intimidation). The parenting orders made by the court are binding and legally enforceable, giving you legal recourse should your ex-partner fail to abide by the orders in the future.

No. This is largely an administrative process by the court and you will not have to be present. As long as the court does not have any concerns about your agreement, it will seal your consent orders and each parent will receive a copy. Should either party breach the consent orders in the future, the other party will have legal recourse.

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