Andrew and Sylvia had been married for 12 years before separating. They have three children, Stephen aged 2, Sarah aged 5 and Michael aged 7. Initially they were able to manage time arrangements, but it became increasingly difficult due to Andrew and Sylvia each having different views on their households should run.
We assisted Sylvia to navigate her way through reaching an agreement with Andrew about parenting arrangements.
When parties are unable to agree on arrangements, a useful step to consider is participating in family law dispute resolution with one of the many counselling services available.
Parents do not need solicitors for this step, making it very cost effective. If parties are able to reach agreement during this process, a parenting plan can be drawn up with the assistance of solicitors.
A parenting plan is an agreement between partners setting out the parenting arrangements agreed upon. It is signed and dated by the parties. Many separated couples are able to settle their parenting disputes using this type of agreement. An important point to note is that parenting plans are not enforceable by a court, however they will consider the terms of the agreement if the matter goes to court.
Sylvia and Andrew were able to reach agreement through the family law dispute resolution process. They each however wanted their agreement to be enforceable by a court, just to give each other some certainty.
We assisted Sylvia by drawing up an Application for Consent Orders which set out the parenting arrangements that had been agreed upon. This was then filed with the Family Court and the parties now have an Order which clearly sets out what time the children are to spend with each parent, and other matters.
*Not their real names.
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