Learn more about making arrangements that suit your kids and your family.
Making parenting arrangements
Parenting arrangements are the arrangements that you make for your children after you separate. These must be made in the best interests of the children. As children grow, and their needs change, parents might have to update their parenting arrangements.
When working out parenting arrangements it’s important to consider:
- the childrens’ ages
- who is best placed to provide day-to-day care for children
- any special needs e.g. medical and schooling practical considerations e.g. housing, transport, unexpected expenses
- the cultural needs of the children, especially if they are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- the opinions and choices of the children
- the safety of the children
amica can help you to make parenting arrangements for biological and adopted children who were born or adopted in the relationship and who are under the age of 18.
There are different ways to document the parenting arrangements for your family. The way that you make and record your parenting arrangements will depend on what suits your situation. These are summed up in the table below.
Supporting your children during separation
It can be tough for both parents and children during a separation. It is important for children to be provided with age-appropriate information and support. It can help children to know that they are loved, and that the separation is not their fault
Information and services for children
Information about missing children and breaches of existing arrangements
If your former partner has removed or threatened to remove your child from where they usually live, you should get legal help urgently from the free Legal Help Line in your state or territory. The Family Courts can make orders to locate and recover missing children.
If you have existing parenting arrangements and your former partner has changed these arrangements without getting your consent first, you should get legal help from the free Legal Help Line in your state or territory.
Table of parenting agreement options
|Who makes this?||Things to consider||Can amica provide this?|
|Parenting agreement||Parents agree between themselves.||Flexibility: Can be varied by agreement between parents.||Yes|
|Parenting plan||Parents agree between themselves.||Flexibility: Can be varied by agreement between parents. |
Weight: If matter goes to Court later, the Court must consider the terms of the latest parenting plan.
|Consent orders||Parents agree on the arrangements, and ask the family courts to turn the agreement into an order.||Consent orders are binding. Making changes often involves going back to Court.||amica does not produce consent orders for parenting, but you can use amica to make an agreement as a first step.|
|Parenting orders||If parents can’t decide the arrangements, the family courts can decide them.||Parenting orders are binding. Making changes nearly always involves going back to Court.||amica does not produce parenting orders, but you can use amica to gather essential information from each other as a first step.|
Documents for Parenting Arrangements
You have several options about the parenting documents you would like to create when you use amica.
You have the option to create a Parenting Agreement document, or a Parenting Plan document.
What is the difference between a Parenting Agreement and Parenting Plan?
A Parenting Agreement is a voluntary agreement that covers the day to day responsibilities of each parent, the practical considerations of a child's daily life and how parents agree to consult on important long-term issues about their children. It can be changed at any time as long as both parents agree.
A Parenting Agreement can be converted to a Parenting Plan provided that it is in writing, and the parents each sign and date it. On amica you can convert your Parenting Agreement to a Parenting Plan by selecting to add your electronic signature and the date, at no extra costs
Why convert our Parenting Agreement to a Parenting Plan?
This step is optional. It gives the arrangements more weight. If parents end up in Court at a later date over parenting issues, the Court is required to consider the terms of the most recent Parenting Plan when making orders in relation to the child, if it is in the best interests of the child to do so.
You will both need to agree on the selection in order to create parenting documents