Firstly, it is important to know that there are flexible and cost effective options available to parties to come to parenting arrangements for children after your relationship has broken down. The two main ways you can come to an arrangement are:-
- Through a parenting plan, which is not a formal binding document; or
- Through Consent Orders which are approved and filed with the Court to become binding on the parties.
HOW MUCH DETAIL DO I GO INTO IN MY PARENTING ARRANGEMENT?
Either arrangement can be as detailed or simple as the parties choose to make it. It all depends on what best suits the circumstances of your family.
It is important to know that the two main issues that any parenting arrangement needs to address are:
- Who has parental responsibility for the children – making major life long decisions for the children such as health and education; and
- Who the child lives with or spends time with and on what basis.
For example, some parents choose to specify the time and days for contact and communication with the parent who does not have the children in their care at that time. This may not be necessary in all families, while some parents are happy for communication to be on an ad hoc basis.
Other important factors to consider including in your parenting arrangements are:-
- Handover location;
- School holidays;
- Special occasions such as the children’s birthdays, the parent’s birthdays, Christmas, Easter and other occasions important to the family;
- Allowances for the parties to travel interstate and overseas with the children;
- Contact with extended family members;
- Provisions for either parent to attend school events or extra-curricular activities for the children;
- Processes to resolve any issues or disputes arising from the parenting arrangement in the future.
When deciding what to include, you should consider what is a priority to your family but most importantly, what decisions will be in the best interests of the children.
If you would like more detailed advice on how to come to a parenting arrangement and what to include, one of our experienced and friendly solicitors at Lindbloms Lawyers would be happy to help you.
Contact Lindbloms Lawyers on 8357 7611 to find out more and arrange a free half hour consultation