What are parenting orders and when do you need one?

What are parenting orders and when do you need one?

Here at Save U legal we think that we are fairly practical for law firm and in doing so we’ve decided to start a blog to help out clients and readers understand some of the intricate and detailed aspects of the law without making it too complicated. So as much as we can we going to try to post blogs that relevant and helpful as often as we can. so here it goes……


Parenting Orders

As part of our family law practice we receive  calls on a daily basis about issues over children and the need for parenting orders. People come to us confused and anxious and of course they should be when it involves their kids. We previously outlined some information in relation to this on our website. Unfortunately it’s an ongoing issue that children often become weapons in a battle between two individuals who for some reason or another have fallen out of love with each other bringing the relationship to an end.  To assist in these situations we have outlined a few of the common questions we get in relation to kids and parenting orders.

Is my ex-partner able to withhold the children from me?

The short answer is yes. The difficulty in relation to the law is that the law presumes that Parents have equal responsibility and as such in the absence of parenting orders which provide for another arrangement stopping one parent withholding a child from another, the withholding parent is not technically breaching any law. We see this often. Sometimes the reason for withholding the child is legitimate however often the reasons are not. Probably the primary legitimate reasons would be if there were risks to the child’s health or safety such that the children were being exposed to either violence or drugs etc. Sometimes it’s the opposite and one parent will hold the kids back from another parent just to upset them or get back at them for revenge.

What can I do if my child is being withheld from me?

You should contact a family lawyer as soon as possible if this is happening to you. A properly qualified an experienced lawyer will be able to guide you as to the this issue. If the child is very young and you have been primary carer of the child then it’s likely that the lawyer would recommend initiating a recovery order in order to kids be returned to you. Similarly if you have your own concerns about your child’s safety with the other parent, you should consider an application to support withholding the child.

How quickly can the kids be returned?

There are situations particularly over holiday periods where the court assigns a judge to look after any emergency situations involving children matters such as recovery orders or watch list orders and matters can be listed at very short notice. This unfortunately is not the norm so it should not be expected that you will be able to have your matter listed before a judge on an urgent basis without making the appropriate application emphasising the risks to the child in your application. The application itself is complex however we are usually able to complete those tasks really quickly to get your matter listed before the court. your expectations should be based around days and weeks not hours.

What is the process for making application?

the application process is basically the filing of certain paperwork with the court in order to initiate proceedings. In the usual course of listing a matter it is a requirement that the parties attend some form of attempted mediation where there is dispute prior to filing. The cases where emergency or shortlisted matters are listed are rare and limited. Instances where that may occur would be in the situation where a recovery order is required or an order prohibiting someone from leaving the country with a child. Other than these sorts of emergency situations you should expect to have tried to negotiate with the other parent to resolve the issue and or have at least obtained a certificate from an accredited family law dispute resolution practitioner that you attempted mediation, even on a basic level. We call this a section 60 I certificate. The 60 I relates to the provision in the Family Law Act 1975 which discusses  prefiling actions.

Seriously how much does it cost for all this?

If you are eligible for a legal aid grant, legal aid will cover the cost of  attendance at a mediation for a solicitor and also representation at court for proceedings. However if you are not eligible for legal aid and many are not as the threshold is very low you will be looking at spending usually thousands of dollars to prepare an application to get it to court according to Monder Law Group.

Why does it cost so much?

The issue in terms of legal fees is a much bigger discussion than this Blog can cover however given the hourly rates charged by lawyers and then the amount of work involved in preparing a case the costs do mount up. It must be understood that when you come to see us , we don’t know anything about your case to start with and it takes some time before we were able to establish the facts of the case and assess the direction for you then go to work to align all of the evidence required even on an initial basis.

What should I do then?

If you have a family law problem such as one parent withholding the child from another you should get on to it as soon as possible. It starts probably with an initial conversation with our family lawyers at Save U Legal. We offer 1/2 hour free consultation for our clients they can get a feel for us as lawyers. It’s important that both the lawyer and the client are able to work together in a collaborative manner to achieve the outcome. Hopefully your matter is one that can be dealt with quickly and cheaply and many of them are. Prolonged case matters can be very expensive and stressful on you and your family. That’s why we’re here for you to take the pressure off and offer you a level head by providing advice during these stressful times.