If you agree on parenting arrangements

If you agree on parenting arrangements

If you agree on parenting arrangements you can:

  • make a parenting plan – a written agreement that is not legally enforceable
  • get a consent order – approved by the court and legally enforceable.

It is important that you get legal advice before making a parenting plan or consent order so you understand the effect of any agreement.

Parenting plans

A parenting plan is a signed written agreement between parents (and others, if involved) that sets out the care arrangements for the children. It may affect the amount of child support you receive.

A parenting plan must be in writing, dated and signed by both parents (and any other people involved). You can change your parenting plan at any time, but it must be signed and dated again.

A family dispute resolution service may be able to help you make a parenting plan with your ex-partner.

Parenting plans are not legally enforceable. However, if you have a parenting order a court will say that any later parenting plans change this order. The court would expect you to act in accordance with the latest parenting plan unless you can show that you agreed to the plan because of threats or intimidation.

Consent orders

A written agreement (or parenting plan) approved by the court is called a consent order. It is made by the court with the agreement of parents (and others, if involved). It has the same legal force as other parenting orders.

How to apply for a consent order

You can get a consent order without going to court. The Family Court has a do-it-yourself kit so you can apply for a consent order about:

  • arrangements for your children
  • division of property.

There is a fee for filing an application for consent orders.

Get help

Find out how you can get help with parenting arrangements and child contact.