Applications for Parenting Orders can be brought by either or both of the parents, a grandparent or any other significant person in a child’s life.
Prior to the commencement of any Court proceedings the parties are required to attend, participate and make a genuine attempt in resolving any parenting issues at a family dispute resolution conference. Following completion of this conference, a Certificate is issued to the parties.
If an agreement is reached the terms of that agreement can be formalised through an Application for Consent Orders. If no agreement can be reached, further negotiations can be arranged with the assistance of solicitor, mediators and counsellors.
If no agreement can be reached outside of the court system, a person may then make an application to the Court. An application to Court will require confirmation that the parties have attempted a dispute resolution conference and are in receipt of the Certificate. There are exceptions in obtaining this Certificate prior to the commencement of Court proceedings.
In parenting matters, a Court must regard the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration.
According to section 60B of the Family Law Act 1975, the best interests of the children are met by:
- ensuring that the children have the benefit of both of their parents having a meaningful involvement in their lives, to the maximum extent consistent with the best interest of the child; and
- protecting the children from physical and psychological harm and from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence; and
- ensuring that children receive adequate and proper parenting to help them achieve their full potential; and
- ensuring that parents fulfil their duties, and meet their responsibilities, concerning the care, welfare and development of their children.
There are other factors that the Court may take into account in any particular circumstances.
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