Parenting orders are orders relating to the parental responsibility for, live with and contact arrangements for children where a relationship has broken down. Parenting issues can be emotional and stressful, and we pride ourselves on being able to assist our clients with these matters to minimise the impact on both the parents and the children.
What are Parenting Orders?
Parenting orders are orders relating to the parenting, care, custody and visitation of a child. Any person who has an interest in a child may apply to the Family Court of Western Australia to obtain parenting orders in relation to that child.
In our experience, disputes in relation to parenting issues are often resolved through consent between the parties and the orders agreed upon are then put before the Court in the form of a minute of Consent orders or through a Consent Order Application.
It is important to note, that parties seeking parenting orders at the Family Court of Western Australia (other than through an application for
consent orders) must first attempt Family Dispute Resolution ('FDR'). If you are unsure about what FDR is, where it can be undertaken or what it entails, we are more than happy to assist you with this important process.
Once you have an FDR Certificate, you can apply for orders at the Family Court of Western Australia in relation to parenting matters.
For more information on FDR, visit Legal Aid Western Australia's FDR information page.
Parenting Orders are orders that relate to:
Parental responsibility for the child/children;
The child/children's living arrangements;
Contact arrangements with the child/children and the non-resident parent;
The involvement of each parent in decision making regarding the child/children;
Each parties communication with the child/children;
Maintenance and financial support of the child/children; and
Resolving disputes about decision making relating to the child/children.
The Family Court of Western Australia views the best interests of the child as the primary consideration when determining parenting matters. Other considerations include the child/children having a meaningful relationship with both parents, the need to protect the child/children from harm, or the risk of harm, the views expressed by the child/children, the relationship between the child/children and the parents, the willingness and ability of each parent to promote the relationships of the child/children with the other parent, the effect on any change in circumstances or removal from one of the parents, the ability of the parents to provide for the child/children's needs, the attitudes of the parents towards parenting, family violence and any other consideration that the Court believes may be relevant.
Useful resources for Parenting Matters
Parenting matters can be complex and emotionally stressful, both on the parents and the children. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available for people who are facing these kinds of proceedings.
The Family Court of Western Australia has a kit prepared for parenting matters, which includes information on the process of applying for orders, as well as the relevant forms available on its website.