Parenting Plan or Parenting Order?

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11 July 2014
My child's father and I have separated and have been to mediation trying to set up a parenting agreement (custody of children) for our child. Unfortunately we have not been able to come to any agreement.

I have been told my next step is to apply for a "court ordered parenting plan" i.e. terms determined by a family law judge.

I have been given conflicting information - is it better for me to lodge the documents at the court or should I wait until the father lodges the forms and I become the respondent? I am wanting to get this sorted out ASAP for the benefit of our child.

Thank you in anticipation.

Jacob Romano

Active Member
19 July 2014
If you think there is any prospect that the father will not comply with a parenting plan fully, then do yourself a favour and avoid a decade of frustration by ensuring you have Parenting Orders by Consent, or as ordered by the Judicial Officer. Do not rely on a Parenting Plan

The major difference between these 2 documents is that if a Parenting Plan is not followed by the father, well there is nothing you can do about it. However if he breaches a Court Order, then there are consequences, sometimes serious ones.

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Well-Known Member
8 April 2014
G'day Sally Maye,
If you're wanting to get thing sorted asap and you're prepared and understand about applying for a parenting order, then I think you should proceed. Have a look at the Family Law Courts "If you can't agree on arrangements" page that take you through the steps, considerations and requirements for parenting orders. Have you had a family lawyer provide you with legal advice / assistance as yet?

At least with a parenting order, your child's father must comply with it. Check out these LawAnswers Family Law Forum posts about legally enforceable parenting arrangements and complying with orders:
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