Parenting Orders

Worried about your children’s safety when they’re away from you?

Having the parenting arrangements clearly worked out for your children can give you peace of mind. When parents are unable to come to an agreement about plans for their children themselves, they need to go to the Federal Magistrates Court or Family Court for decisions to be made. The Court is required to consider principles in the Family Law Act 1975 and to make parenting arrangements which are in the best interests of the children. The children’s interests are given priority over the parent’s interests.

Decisions regarding parenting arrangements

The court assumes in the majority of cases that it is in the best interests of children for both of their parents to share parental responsibility for them. This means both parents should jointly make decisions about what school a child attends, what religion (if any) they worship and the child’s health needs.

A court must then consider what practical living arrangements are in the child’s best interests to maintain a meaningful relationship with both parents, in the following order of priority:

  • The child spending equal time with each parent (either on a weekly basis or some other combination such as four days in one week and three days in the following week)
  • The child living with one parent and spending substantial and significant time with the other parent, including week, weekend and holiday time
  • The court is strongly focused on facilitating shared parenting where it is practical and the child is not subject to any risk of harm in either household, and provided such arrangement would be in the best interests of the particular child.

Both parents need to present a united front to their children, so that children are not able to manipulate or play parents off against each other. At DA Family Lawyers in Brisbane we offer expert advice on the best way to proceed with all matters of family law. Whether you wish to resolve the case out of court, or in court our legal team can help you.

Contravention of parenting court orders can be very serious. If your ex-partner has contravened court orders, you may be able to take action.

When a parenting order is made, each person affected by the order must follow the order. This includes taking all reasonable steps to follow the order. For example, a parent has a positive obligation to encourage a child to spend time with the other parent.

The law about the consequences of failing to comply with orders is complicated and technical. What may appear as a failure to comply with an order to you, and your family and friends, may not be according to the law.

If your ex-partner has contravened court orders, you may be able to take action. Some instances of contravention of orders, such as child abduction by either parent are extremely serious. For more information on this in particular, please see The Hague Convention Proceedings.

To find out more about parenting orders and how the team at DA Family Lawyers in Brisbane can help you navigate family law, contact us today.