Legal Action for Parenting Orders

Taking legal action for parenting orders? Some parents following separation will feel that it is necessary to go to court in order to obtain certainty about the time that their children can spend with them. It is a significant decision and not one that should be taken lightly.

For some parents, there may seem to be no choice other than taking legal action for parenting orders. For example, the other parent may be withholding children from spending any time with the other parent. In other cases, a parent may make a decision without consulting the other parent to relocate with the children to live in another town. It may be difficult then for reasons of distance for that other parent to spend any real time with the children.

For whatever reason a parent may be considering taking legal action for parenting orders, it is worthwhile to take the time considering what may be your other options. The reality for many people is that a legal action can cause further division between parents who may already have been experiencing real difficulties in communicating effectively with each other. Remember, you will likely need to co-parent with your former partner for what may be many years until each of your children reach 18 years of age.

If you would like some practical legal advice and the options available to you, contact our experienced Brisbane child custody lawyers or our North Brisbane child custody lawyers. We can assist you in all areas of family law, including regards parenting arrangements and family law property settlement. We will advise you regards likely outcomes for your particular circumstances if you are considering taking legal action for parenting orders and other available options. This will allow you to make an informed decision. You are also welcome to read on for further information right now………

If you have not been able to make any satisfactory agreement for care of your children, you should consider attempting a family dispute resolution meeting (FDRM) with your former partner. You will anyway need to do this before you may start any legal action, unless there are circumstances of family violence or child abuse.

For further information regards family dispute resolution (FDR), see our blog entitled “Starting Family Court Proceedings”.

If your former partner agrees to attend that meeting with a family dispute resolution practitioner (FDRP), you can try then to reach an agreement, whether for a parenting plan or parenting consent orders to be issued by the family court. Many people who may not have been willing to reach agreement prior to such a meeting, will do so at that meeting or soon after. The reason for that will often be that a parent can start a legal action seeking parenting orders if they have attempted FDR but it has not been successful. The other parent may prefer to reach agreement than to face a legal action.

Except where there is family violence or child abuse, a person will generally have to attach to their application to the family court a section 60I certificate issued by a FDRP. Even if your former partner refused or failed to attend a FDRM, the FDRP can issue that certificate once certain procedural requirements are met.

If you can make a parenting plan or obtain a consent order, you will not then need to go to court (unless you consider it necessary if your former partner later breaches the terms of the plan or the consent order).  Remember that a parenting plan is not legally enforceable but it does allow you flexibility to vary its terms if you and your former partner later wish to do so. It also generally assists parties to clarify together what it is that is agreed.

If no agreement at all can be reached with your former partner, then you may still wish to consider your options before taking any legal action for parenting orders. If the issues are such that your children are not spending time with you, then a court action may be all that you can do.

However, depending upon your circumstances, even where your former partner will not immediately agree the time that you seek that the children spend with you, it may be better for the children and for you for there to be a period of family counselling and/or a child inclusive mediation, if your former partner is willing to agree it. After a period, further consideration could then be given to what it is that is in issue, whether increased time for the children with you or some other issue.

Contact our child custody lawyers Brisbane or child custody lawyers Brisbane Northside for advice concerning your prospects if you take your matter to court seeking parenting orders. We are able to advise you concerning any area of family law.  Our goal is to assist our clients to reach an amicable agreement concerning parenting arrangements for their children. If however court action becomes necessary, we have the experience to represent you at Court.