Formalising arrangements for child custody after both the parents have separated can be overwhelming and stressful. At times, even an amicable settlement or negotiation can turn things around. However, it is crucial to make certain arrangements and agreements between both the parents for the care of children and their best interest. In case of disagreement or divided views, the family court can intervene and issue parenting orders as an alternate solution.
Here at Eden King, our experienced family lawyers in Parramatta can help you with formalising parental order to offer ease of mind and legal enforceability.
What Is A Parental Order?
-A parental order is a statement made by the court that specifies how parental responsibilities will be allocated in the best interests of the child. It states who will look after a child daily(including shared custody) and when the other parent can see the child, regardless of whether it is face to face or by phone or email. A parental order is usually applied by a parent in the case of dispute or disagreement over a child’s care arrangements.
How Does a Parental Order Work?
-The Family Court of Australia (FCA) or the Federal Circuit Court (FCC) will hear applications related to parental order. A court will draft a parental order based on an agreement between both parties or after a trial. Once drafted, both parties will have to comply with the order and must follow it. The parental agreement will also require both parties to follow certain critical steps before applying for an order change.
What Should Be Included in Parental Order?
A parental order may include the following:
●Who the child will live with
●How much time will the child spend with each parent and with other people, such as grandparents
●How parental responsibilities will be allocated
●How the child will communicate with another parent
●Which parenting decisions will be joint decisions
●Who will take care of the transport arrangement of the child (pick-ups and drop-offs)
●School holidays, birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions
●Child’s sporting and social commitments
●Overseas holidays with one parent
●How much shared costs between both the parents (daily, educational, medical, dental, unexpected)
●Any other aspect related to the child’s care, welfare or development
Is It Possible To Change A Parental Order?
-The Federal Court of Australia (FCA) or the Federal Circuit Court (FCC) are adamant about any changes in a parental order until the child reaches the age of 18. You can try to apply for the changes, but it is uncertain whether the court will comply or not. For seeking changes in a parental order, you must have a strong compelling reason that supports your statement.
How Long Does a Parental Order Last?
The duration of a parental order will depend on two possibilities:
Interim Parental Order
-It can last until a date or event specified by the court. For instance, the court can issue an interim parental order to a parent if the other leaves the country. The court can also make an interim order if the application was made urgently.
Final Parental Order
-A final parental order usually lasts until a child turns 18, or if there are any changes or cancellations in the parental order.
What Happens If You Breach a Parental Order?
-Breaching a parental order will have several consequences involving committal to prison, variation in child arrangements order, fine, compensation for financial loss, a contact enforcement order, and several other penalties.