Parenting Orders

Specialists in child development advise that children benefit from meaningful relationships and time spent with both their parents. This isn’t always the case, though, and sometimes, the risk of harm to a child can outweigh any other benefit.

What is a Parenting Dispute?

When parents and other interested parties, such as extended family and step-parents, disagree about where children live, who they spend time with, as well as what they are exposed to, then this becomes a child-related dispute or a parenting dispute. This can extend to other decisions, such as what they are at risk of, and whether they should get certain health treatments, education, extra-curricular activities or travel overseas.

The first step to resolving the dispute is mediation. If this fails, an s60I certificate will be issued which enables an application to the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court to investigate and resolve the dispute. In complex cases, an Independent Children’s lawyer is often appointed. The outcome of a child-related dispute is a parenting plan or a parenting order.

Which Court Deals with Parenting Disputes?

Children’s matters after the separation of parents are governed by the Family Law Act. The same Law applies to married and de facto couples. Both the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia deal with Children’s matters.

Both Courts apply the Family Law Act when determining arrangements for children after separation.

What Is Required Before Filing A Parenting Dispute In Court?

The Family Law Act 1975 requires a person to make an attempt to resolve disputes about parenting matters using family dispute resolution services before applying to a Court for a parenting order.  There are some exceptions to this.

Further information about these requirements, which apply to all courts, can be found via Family Relationships Online or by calling the Family Relationships Advice line on 1800 050 321.

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