Ways you can formalise your parenting agreement that is recognized under the Family Law Act 1975 

Parenting Plan 

A parenting plan is a written agreement that confirms the parenting arrangements for the child. A parenting plan must:

  1. Be in writing; and  
  2. Be made between the parents of a child; and 
  3. Be signed by the parents of the child; and 
  4. Be dated; and 
  5. Deal with a relevant matter. 

A parenting plan may deal with the following matters (relevant matter): 

  1. The person or persons with whom a child is to live;
  2. The time the child is to spend with another person or other persons;
  3. The allocation of parental responsibility for a child;
  4. If two or more persons that share responsibility for a child – the form of consultations those persons are to have with one another about decisions to be made in the exercise of that responsibility;
  5. The communication the child is to have with the other person or other persons;
  6. The maintenance of the child;
  7. The process to be used for resolving 
  8. disputes about the terms or operation of the plan; 
  9. The process to be used for changing the plan to take into account the changing needs or circumstances of the child or the parties to the plan;
  10. Any aspect of the care, welfare, or development of the child or any other aspect of parental responsibility for a child. 

A parenting plan is not a legally enforceable document. However, if your matter ends up in court, the court must have regard to the terms of the parenting plan.

Consent orders 

A consent order is a written agreement that is approved by the court. It can include the agreement reached in relation to parenting and also property settlement. A consent order is a legally enforceable document. If a party to the order breaches the terms of the order, you can file an application for contravention seeking that they are dealt with for their breach. 


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