How to Apply for a Parenting Order

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Parenting is a gift, rewarding, all in itself. But during a separation or divorce, it can be the challenge of a lifetime. 

Disagreements on overall parental responsibilities, may arise and overwhelm both parties. 

At this juncture, parents going through a separation or divorce may find it necessary to apply for a parenting order. 

What Is a Parenting Order?

A parenting order is a court order detailing how parental responsibilities should be shared after parents separate or divorce. 

The order dictates: 

  • The general upbringing of the children 
  • Where, and with whom they should reside
  • Exact responsibilities of each parent 
  • The time shared between each parent 
  • How the children communicate or meet with the parent resident away from the home
  • Any other aspect of the care and upbringing of the children 

Both or one of the parents can apply for a parenting order when there is an ominous disagreement over parenting arrangements, and they must abide by the stipulations of the court order once made. 

Even if you agree on parenting arrangements, Split Easy offers straightforward consent orders acceptable to the court, and necessary to divorce proceedings. The Split Easy DIY divorce platform aims to assist couples with divorce applications, matrimonial property settlements and De facto property settlements. We understand that separation and divorce can be stressful and for a parent can be an emotional rollercoaster. Start your application online to cut down on your financial and emotional toll that the end of a relationship brings.

When things are not going well in a divorce case, one spouse may threaten to terminate negotiations and head to court. However, the road to a divorce trial is long. Divorce and property settlements provide legal protection and help married and de facto couples move on after separation.

When considering a divorce you need to realize that there are five common stages of grief: denialangerbargainingdepression, and acceptance. When a couple is going through a divorce, both people involved experience these stages at different times, in different ways.

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How to Apply for a Parenting Order 

Seek Legal Advice 

Before applying for a parenting order, you should understand what you are getting into and what it means for you and your children. As much as possible, try to reach a mutual agreement with your partner without taking matters to expensive lawyers or the courts. 

Arrangements before Acquiring a Parenting Order:

If you can’t come to a good agreement with your partner, you must proceed with arrangements that precede acquiring the parenting order. 

But before filling out the forms, there are a few things expected, including to: 

  • Read and understand the Marriage, Family, and Separation guidelines  in the Australian Family Law Act of 1975
  • Attend a Family Dispute Resolution Conference (if required)
  • Use divorce mediation platforms like Split Easy to obtain valid consent orders

These steps are necessary to affirm to the court that you’ve both done everything possible to resolve your differences. 

Before applying for a parenting order with the court, the Family Law Act 1975 dictates that a registered family dispute resolution partner must certify your case. This certificate shows that you have sought family dispute resolution or for some verified reason couldn’t attend the sessions. You’ll need this certificate when submitting your divorce application.

After filling out all the required forms, you can submit your application to the Family Court.

Before submitting your application, you must file:

  • An Initiating Application Form 
  • A Case Information Affidavit
  • Documents and certificates showing that you have attended family dispute resolution or are legally exempt from it.

If you were married, you’d also need to submit a copy of your marriage certificate. Otherwise, copies of the children’s birth certificates will suffice.


Who Can Apply For A Parenting Order? 

Apart from either of the parents, the law allows grandparents and other extended family members who are interested in the children’s well-being to apply for the order. It is up to the court to decide if the order is in the children’s best interests. But if some people in the proceeding are against a parenting order, you may need a report from a family consultant to support your application.

This report includes: 

  • The source of the disagreement 
  • How the parents currently relate 
  • How parents and children now relate
  • Children’s opinions 
  • Recommendations on how the dispute can reach a resolution

This report will help the court draft an order that is in the best interest of the children. 

Final Thoughts

While it is necessary in some cases that you get a parenting order, you should first consider solving the matter outside of court. Otherwise, we hope this guide has helped you learn how to apply for a parenting order. 

Please visit Split Easy or call 1300 545 233 for more information on getting consent orders if you agree to the parenting arrangements. Our expert team will guide all eligible applicants on how to present their information to the court to facilitate a smooth and non-acrimonious divorce.

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