Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Process of Applying for a Parenting Order

If you and your former partner cannot agree on parenting arrangements when going through a marriage separation, there are options you can explore before heading to court. The process of mediation can be really helpful, while counselling can enable you to communicate civilly. Your mental state should aid you and your ex-partner to resolve issues as a team, and focus on coming a parenting arrangement that is in the best interests of your child. If these option prove fruitless, you’ll then have to go through the courts to apply for a parenting order.

What a parenting order is

These are orders that come from the court and concern a number of different matters to do with the children after a marriage separation, such as;

  • Who the child is to reside with
  • How much time is to be spent with each parent and potentially others involved, such as grandparents
  • How the child can communicate with the parent they do not reside with
  • Deciding on which parent is responsible for what
  • What the rules are about travelling with the child for each parent
  • How to carry out the relocation of the child
  • Any other areas to do with the development, care and welfare of the child

Three main types of parenting orders are;

  1. Final orders – There is nothing more to discuss, the matter is closed
  2. Interlocutory orders – Made in cases that are deemed urgent and stay in place until final orders come through
  3. Consent orders – These are agreements you and your former partner have reached and you can apply for these without needing to go through Court; consent orders have the same legal backing as if they come from a judicial officer

Before you apply to Court

Before you head to court, there are some things you need to do including participating in marriage counselling Perth or dispute resolution. There are some limited circumstances where you can be exempt from FDR, otherwise you need to obtain a certificate from an FDR professional before you apply for any parenting order at Court.

When you are exempt from family dispute counselling

Under the Family Law Act 1975, there are a few situations where you can ask for an exemption for seeking marriage counselling Perth or FDR including;

  • Your need for a parenting order is urgent
  • If you can satisfy the Court that there are grounds to believe the child has been abused or is at risk of violence or abuse, or if there is family violence and that a delay in having an order puts the child or the partner at risk
  • If there has been an existing order, but it has been contravened within the last year, and the person who has done this shows little regard for their duties and obligations
  • If one or both are unable to participate in FDR because of physical incapacity or not living close enough

Applying for a parenting order needs the help of a reputable family law service and must go through Court with all the appropriate documents.

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