What are Parenting Orders?

What are parenting orders

By Ezra Sarajinsky

· Read time: 5 minutes

A parenting order is a legal set of directives issued by a court to establish parenting arrangements.

These orders can be the result of an agreement between the parties (known as consent orders) or a court hearing.

Once a parenting order is in place, it is legally binding, and all parties involved must adhere to it.

Parenting orders can address various aspects of parenting, such as determining the child’s primary residence, specifying visitation schedules with each parent and other individuals (eg grandparents), designating parental responsibilities, regulating communication between the child and the non-residential parent, and overseeing all matters related to the child’s well-being.

Furthermore, a parenting order may include provisions that require the involved parties to follow specific procedures when seeking alterations to the order. It can also outline dispute resolution processes to manage conflicts that may arise from the order.

What is the Difference Between Parenting Plans and Parenting Orders?

Parenting plans and parenting orders are both tools designed to outline child custody arrangements. However, there are fundamental differences between the two. A parenting plan is an agreement reached by parents, while a parenting order is a legally binding court directive that carries the full weight of the law. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for parents navigating child custody matters.

How to Apply to Change an Existing Parenting Order

Life is dynamic, and family circumstances can change significantly over time. When existing parenting orders no longer suit the best interests of the child, the legal process for amending these orders comes into play. We’ll walk you through the steps involved in applying to change an existing parenting order, ensuring that your child’s evolving needs are met.

Can Parenting Orders Be Made by Negotiation?

The prospect of negotiation in the realm of parenting orders is intriguing. We’ll explore whether it’s possible to reach parenting orders through negotiation, shedding light on the legal processes and considerations involved in this approach. Negotiation can provide a more collaborative and less adversarial path for parents working through child custody issues.

Location and Recovery Orders

In complex situations where a child’s whereabouts are unknown or in dispute, location and recovery orders become critical. These legal instruments are designed to safeguard the child’s safety and well-being, and we’ll delve into their significance and how they work.

Penalties for Failing to Comply with a Parenting Order

A Court’s orders are not suggestions; they are legally binding directives that must be followed. Failure to comply with these orders can have serious consequences, including fines, community service, or even imprisonment. We’ll analyse the penalties associated with non-compliance, emphasising the importance of respecting the orders.

Can Grandparents Make a Parenting Order?

In certain situations, grandparents may seek parenting orders to establish their legal rights and responsibilities regarding their grandchildren’s care.

Grandparents are explicitly recognised and addressed in both the Family Law Act (1975) and the Family Court Act (1997), underscoring the legal importance of fostering a relationship between children and their grandparents.

Within the framework of the Family Court, grandparents have the option to request various types of orders, which could cover:

  • Arrangements for spending time or residing with their grandchildren.
  • Facilitating telephone and communication interactions, including video calls, with their grandchildren.
  • Seeking guardianship responsibilities for their grandchildren.

The Court would take into account factors issues such as:

  • The extent of hostility and conflict between the grandparents and the parents, including the potential for ongoing disputes.
  • The physical and emotional needs of the grandchildren.
  • Ensuring the safety and welfare of the grandchildren.
  • Considering the maturity and preferences of the grandchildren.
  • The strength of the bond between grandparents and their grandchildren.
  • Assessing the grandchildren’s ability to adapt to new living arrangements, schools, and their local community.

What Happens When Two Parents Cannot Agree on Their Child’s Parenting Arrangements?

When parents find themselves at an impasse, unable to reach an agreement on their child’s parenting arrangements, the Court will need to be relied on to make decisions in the child’s best interests.


How Long Does a Parenting Order Last in Australia?

Parenting orders in Australia typically remain in effect until the child reaches the age of 18, or until the court decides otherwise. We’ll address the factors that can lead to alterations in parenting orders and the situations in which they may be revoked.

What Are the Advantages of Parenting Orders?

Parenting orders offer several advantages, including legal clarity, enforceability, and defined responsibilities. We’ll examine these benefits, highlighting how parenting orders provide a structured framework for co-parenting and protecting the well-being of the child.

Need Assistance?

Here at Movement Legal we work with all areas of family, separation and divorce law, including those concerned with parenting issues – parenting plans, parenting orders, negotiation and litigation.

You can call our team on 1300 933 191 or send us a contact form enquiry to arrange a time to speak with a team member.

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