Parenting advice in Australia

Family Law

Parenting advice in Australia

Parenting is a whole new world. Many people feel utterly unprepared for the upheaval in their lives, the tiredness, the shift in their roles, and the intense, all-consuming love that comes with it.

Regarding their children, people appear to have more remarkable patience. The parents do not own their children. Both society and religion have no boundaries. Children are capable of having choices and views. Children not living in a war can enjoy their childhood by playing outdoors and participating in sports. There are no taboos, sins, or concerns about discussing sex. Children respect differences, and there are several approaches to schooling.

As more and more couples file for divorce in family court, the number of contentious custody and visitation disputes involving children is on the rise. A Parenting Plan is urgently needed, as it will significantly lessen the court’s and counsellors’ workload and speed up court matters resolution. Additionally, a parenting plan will reduce tensions between separated couples. The court counsellors can give couples a copy of the parenting plan during the initial stage itself to inform them and assist the parents in collaboratively creating a parenting plan that is agreeable and acceptable to both parents and that addresses issues related to child custody and access in the child’s best interest and welfare.

Children are more likely to feel cared for and safer when they know that their parents have discussed what is best for them and that a plan is in writing. Children will be able to manage the stresses and fears of separation much better. They may not need to visit Court as frequently for access or hearings because they can predict the shape of their lives and know that parents will keep the adult issues between adults (allegations and arguments between the couple entering the parenting plan would be at a minimum). The courts have the authority to force the couple to create a parenting plan (similar to a consent decree) within sixty (60) days and to issue the necessary orders based on the parenting plan. 

When parents’ divorce or split, the family court mandates the creation of a parenting plan or custody agreement. A parenting plan enables parents to prevent future arguments when handling child-related duties. Without explicit agreements regarding these obligations, disagreements may occur, and litigation may be required to settle these issues.

Everyone affected by a divorce or separation suffers, especially the children. Children need both parents’ love and support during this trying period. For everyone, having some degree of future assurance is crucial. The arrangements the parents must make to care for the children will be made more apparent by a written parenting plan that the parents agree upon. Everyone involved will benefit from knowing what is expected of them, and it will serve as a helpful guide as time goes on and the situation evolves.

The Parenting Plan is a written agreement made after a divorce that addresses the day-to-day concerns of parenting. Without having to go to Court, the Plan can assist make clear the arrangements you must make to care for your children following separation. It asks parents to put their children’s best interests first and might be helpful when interacting with their children’s other parents or caregivers. Making a parenting plan has numerous advantages: it will assist everyone involved in understanding what is expected of them; it serves as a valuable resource to go to again; and it outlines practical considerations regarding the children, such as housing arrangements, educational options, and medical care.

If you and your partner agree on the parenting schedule, you can either create a parenting plan,

  • which is a written agreement that is not legally binding. Parenting agreements are not legally binding. However, a court will state that any subsequent parenting plans amend a parenting order if you already have one. Unless you can demonstrate that you consented to the project due to threats or coercion, the Court would expect you to behave in line with the most recent parenting plan.
  • Or obtain a consent order, which the Court grants and is binding. Consent orders are written agreements (or parenting plans) that the Court has approved. The Court makes it (and others, if involved) with the parent’s consent. The same legal weight as other parenting orders applies to it.

You should seek legal counsel before creating a parenting plan or consent order so that you are aware of the implications of any agreements.

In general, make sure your parenting schedule addresses “physical custody,” which refers to the children’s residence and daily schedule.

  • Where should our children be during the week, considering activities, overnights, and day-care? Weekend days?
  • Where should our kids be during the holidays, summer break, and other special occasions?
  • Sports, music, and homework will all be under the supervision of one parent.
  • At what times is which parent in charge?
  • How will our kids go between each of their parents? Who will cover the travelling expenses?

“Legal custody” refers to who has primary authority over child-related matters. Clearly and specifically state which choices each parent can make on their own and which choices you will make jointly regarding:

  • Education and Schools
  • Day-care
  • Religion
  • health and dental services
  • emergency services
  • driving and working (for older children)


If the judge authorizes the adjustments, parents often have the option to modify the Court’s conventional parenting plan or create a new, personalized one. When circumstances change, parents can subsequently alter the existing parenting plan by making a fresh request to the Court. A parenting plan can take shape, but it must be developed without threats, coercion, or any other type of pressure. It must be in writing, including both parents’ signatures and dates. If both parents agree, the parenting plan can be submitted to the Family Court (just like consent terms), and the Court can make a suitable ruling based on it, giving it the same legal standing as a ruling reached following a court hearing. One type of consent order issued by the Court would be the Parenting Plan approved by the Court. If parents are unable to agree on child custody, the Family Court may need to make a decision and issue a Parenting Order.

Most important is that the child’s emotions matter. There must be clear and proper communication between parents and the kids. Positive reinforcement and showing love will help the child to grow emotionally and adjust to the changes.

Contact us if you need some help.

If you would like to learn more about what was discussed in this article, or if you want some legal assistance. Please feel free to call us direct on 1300 706 490 or contact us below to send a message.

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