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Parenting arrangements

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.

Helpful links

Children and family law

www.familyrelationships.gov.au

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 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 considerCan amica provide this?
Parenting agreementParents agree between themselves.Flexibility: Can be varied by agreement between parents.Yes
Parenting planParents 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.
Yes
Consent ordersParents 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 ordersIf 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.

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Answer these five short questions to help you decide if amica is right for your situation.

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National Legal Aid acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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