If you are a parent and you are going through a separation or divorce, there are lots of different avenues in Australian family law that you can take to come to a resolution and point of agreement with the other parent on how your children or child will spend time with each of you. The out of Court options are plentiful and include:
- Negotiating between yourselves;
- Attending a private mediation;
- Going to a family consultant;
- Seeking help from a service like relationships Australia; or
- Retaining a lawyer to give you advice, strategy and help you negotiate a positive outcome.
It is fantastic for separating parents if they can reach an agreement without the help of a lawyer and at minimal cost to the parties. The best outcome for everybody is that there not any lengthy court proceedings and that the parents can both agree on what is in the best interest of the child or children.
However, the problem is that when families come to amicable agreements, they often don’t finalise their agreements legally, they may only do a parenting plan or verbally agree on how the child or children spend their time.
What they don’t realise is that unless the agreement for custody and how the children spend their time with each parent is finalised by way of filed consent orders, the agreements that have been reach are not legally binding in any way.
This means, that parenting agreements as to how the children spend their time with the separated parents can change.
We often have our Brisbane and Gold Coast clients going through a separation or divorce say ‘we are amicable, so we don’t need to sign consent orders.’ Then sadly they have to come back a couple of months or even years later to revisit the entire custody process as things have changed and the parents are no longer amicable for a variety of reasons.
Without consent orders, there is no certainty. Parenting consent orders don’t cost a lot of money, and they are well worth the investment to give you peace of mind.
If you have an agreement for how you and your separated mother or father of your children are going to co-parent, it is our advice to get consent orders. This gives both your children and the parent’s certainty into the future.
Our family lawyers offer fixed fee solutions so that you know what the cost of the parenting orders will be before you get started.