O’Loan Family Law’s Guide To A Parenting Plan Template NSW

As Parents Ourselves, The Team at O’Loan Family Law Understands How Difficult Parenting Arrangements Can Be.

It is common for parents to disagree on a parenting plan template that suits both parents and is in their children’s best interest. It is important to understand what avenues are available to you to ensure you achieve the best result possible. We understand this can be a difficult time for families and the team at O’Loan Family Law can help guide you through this process by providing you with effective family law advice. From starting to think about what your parenting plan can look like by thinking about all the circumstances and issues you will need to take into consideration to formalising an agreement and applying to the court for your agreement to be legally finalised, our solicitors can provide you with legal advice on parenting issues by providing comprehensive legal advice for your parenting matter and helping you reach an agreement to ensure you have a meaningful relationship with your children. 


Parenting Agreements

Focusing on the needs of the children involved, parenting agreements can take many different forms. A parenting agreement is an agreement for non independent children which can look like an oral agreement, a written parenting plan, or by Consent Orders where the agreement is put into a formal court order with the Family Court of Australia and is considered an enforceable agreement.

Our team of family lawyers can help you sort through the details and create a parenting plan that works for both of you. We will walk you through the steps of how parental responsibility will be shared by going over parenting time and formulating a parenting program and parenting schedules in order to prioritise the arrangements for children.

If you and your former partner reach a parenting agreement over care arrangements of your children, we can formalise the arrangements by obtaining Family Court Orders without you needing to go to Court. Court Orders are not necessary for everyone. We can talk to you about whether they will be helpful for you. We can also advise you about parenting plans and other more informal agreements about parenting issues.

What To Consider When Making A Parenting Agreement

We can provide you with comprehensive legal advice and help you formulate a list of primary considerations and additional considerations that will help you and your former partner develop an amicable parenting agreement. Some things you should consider when deciding on a parenting agreement are:

  • Major, long-term decisions that may affect your children.
  • What parenting arrangements over school holidays would look like.
  • Your children’s cultural upbringings and how your Parenting Agreement can support this.
  • Parenting Arrangements for special occasions.
  • The time you would like your children to spend with extended family.
  • What are your daily decisions and how will affect your children.
  • Current and future school arrangements and any major education decisions.
  • Your current financial situation and your former partner’s financial situation.
  • Future capacity to care for your kids.
  • What are the practical options for both you and your ex-partner.
  • Do you need to explore what your legal options are. 
  • If there is there a risk of harm.
  • Is there a risk of domestic violence.
  • Are counselling services required.
  • whether your children are considered independent children.
  • Is there a risk of family violence or child abuse.
  • Is payment of child support an option for you.
  • Do you need advice about child support and is a child support assessment necessary.
  • Arrangements during the holiday period.
  • Will there be time limits on parenting responsibilities and living arrangements.
  • How will you determine control of decision making.
  • Is family mediation appropriate.
  • Will you be able to get assistance from family members to help with child care.
  • Should you consider accessing community-based family support services.

After taking into account these primary considerations, any additional considerations and considering any legal advice you will become a step closer to coming to an agreement about arrangements for children. You can start thinking about how your parenting agreement will look like, what your parental responsibility will look like, will you and your former partner be able to come to a decision, is initiating proceedings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court a possibility.


Is Child Support An Option?

Child support is where one party makes payment to the other to financially support your children. Child support should be considered when drafting a parenting plan to see if child support payments are necessary for your situation. Your child support agreement can cater for the arrangements of your children including financial support through child support. You should consider is a child support assessment is available to you to assess any child support issues. Our family lawyers can provide you with any family law issues including Child Support Agreements and help you with your child support application. 

If You Can’t Agree On A Parenting Plan

There are many avenues for parents to come to an agreement on a parenting plan. You and your former partner must make a genuine attempt to resolve your parenting dispute. if you still cannot agree, Court is the last resort, and you can initiate proceedings about children and consequences where an enforceable agreement will be made. Family Court can be costly, time-consuming, and stress-inducing. Using Family Dispute Resolution avenues is highly recommended and an important part of the procedure when deciding and implementing a parenting plan. The consequences of not agreeing on a parenting plan and the process of agreeing on a parenting plan rely on your specific family circumstances.

it is common that parents cannot agree on a parenting plan. In these circumstances, either party has the right to apply to the Family Court for parenting Orders, where the Court will make the decision about what is best for the children. in this case, seeking legal advice whether it is through a Family Law firm or by accessing Legal Aid if you do not have the means to afford a legal practitioner.


Parenting Plan to Parenting Agreement to Consent Order to Parenting Order

After taking into consideration all elements of your family’s individual circumstances by focusing on how you can cater your parenting plan to focus on what is in your children’s best interest, you can now move forward to formalising your parenting agreement. Your parenting agreement can be an oral agreement, a written plan, or by consent orders where your agreement is put into a formal court order.


Parenting Orders

If you and your former partner reach an agreement, we can formalise the arrangements by obtaining Family Court Orders without you needing to go to Court. Court Orders are not necessary for everyone. We can talk to you about whether they will be helpful for you. We can also advise you about parenting plans and other more informal agreements about parenting issues.

If you and your former partner can’t reach an agreement about children’s matters, or if there are urgent issues that need to be addressed, Family Court proceedings may be necessary. We can represent you in Court and guide you through what can otherwise be a confusing process.

How To Get a Parenting Order

Using the Court’s Consent Orders Kit, you can obtain parenting orders by applying to the Family Court of Australia or the Family Court of Western Australia. Our team can provide you with comprehensive legal advice on parenting to help you complete the consent order documents which includes a form and obtain parenting orders that are in the best interest of your children. Our team can help you formulate a collaborative parenting plan. if you can agree on parenting orders, you will simply need to file an Application for Consent Orders and proposed Consent Orders to the Court. The Court’s website has a comprehensive guide on how to complete both forms, but engaging in family law services is strongly recommended whether it is through many different legal centres and organisations such as:

  • Our awesome team at O’Loan Family Law.
  • Legal Aid NSW.
  • Community legal centres.
  • Women’s legal service.
  • Family relationship centres.
  • Engaging with a family dispute resolution practitioner.
  • Legal centres.

There is some form of support available to you to obtain a parenting order.

if you cannot agree on Parenting Orders, it is strongly advised to seek the same legal support available to you. you will have to commence legal proceedings where the court will decide on your parenting orders. It is common that once legal proceedings are commenced, parties settle their case at some stage of proceedings. this can occur through negotiation, successful mediation, or through a family counsellor. however, if an agreement cannot be reached after the commencement of legal proceedings, the court will make the final decision on your parenting orders to ensure your living arrangements are formalised and an agreement between parents is reached.


Parenting Plan Examples

There are different forms of parenting plans. Parenting plans can look like an equal parenting plan or a mixed responsibilities plan. we can provide you with examples of parenting plans to help you understand what yours can look like and what options are available to you.

Equal Parenting Plan

An equal parenting plan is where the parents agree to equal time with the children. For example, an equal parenting plan can look like the below:

‘Both parents have equal shared parental responsibility for the child, SAM EDWARDS born 18 April 2010.

Except as otherwise provided by these orders, the times the child will live with the Father each fortnight are (a) from 9am Monday to 9am Wednesday in Week 1; (b) from 9am Friday in Week 1 to 9am Monday in Week 2; and (c) from 9am Wednesday to 9am Friday in Week 2.’


Mixed Responsibilities Parenting Plan

A mixed parenting plan is where the parents agree to a mixed parenting plan where one parent may have more time than the other and the plan changes per the agreed orders. For example, a mixed parenting plan can look like the below:

‘The Father shall have sole parental responsibility concerning the child’s education but, in other respects, each parent shall retain parental responsibility for the children, SAM EDWARDS born 18 April 2010 and RACHEL EDWARDS born 28 March 2011.

The parents shall take appropriate measures to ensure that the children, when not living with the Mother, live with the Father as follows: in Week 1, from 9am on Sunday to 3pm on Monday and from 3pm on Wednesday to 9am on Friday; in Week 2, from 3pm on Tuesday to 3pm on Thursday.’

You can use our parenting plan template the form the basis of your parenting plan with your former partner to ensure the best interest of your children is prioritised. We can help you use your parenting plan template as a legal document and formalise your agreement. Our parenting plan experts can help you handle the legalities of the parenting plan and handle any custody issues that you may have. The aim of family law and our family lawyers is to ensure the best outcome possible is achieved for the child’s best interests. Our family lawyers can also advise you about obligations to provide financial support for your children. We’d love to get in touch with you and explore how we can help you with your parenting plan template. To take the first step, book a 15-minute complimentary initial telephone consultation to see how the team at O’Loan Family Law can support you through your parenting matter and get started on your comprehensive parenting plan.

At O’Loan Family Law, we will review your individual situation to ensure that we can assist you during your relationship breakdown. We will ensure to provide you with a positive experience and an optimal outcome.

Organise a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation.

We’d love to talk with you and explore how we can help you. Please contact us to organise your complimentary 15 minute telephone consultation.