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As of 1st July 2008, the family law system has made Family Dispute Resolution a requirement before you can apply to Court for a new Parenting Order or changes to an existing one.
Family Dispute Resolution is the legal name for mediation and conciliation services that can be used to help people going through separation and divorce to resolve disputes without having to go to court.
If the Court believes that a parent, or person who lives with the parent, has taken part in family violence or abuse of the child or another child in the family, this presumption of equality will not apply.
If the parenting order states that the parents will have equal shared parental responsibility, the Court has to consider whether spending equal amounts of time with each parent is in the child’s best interest, is practical, and if so, consider making that part of the parenting order.
The relevant sections are 60B, 60CA, 60CC, 61DA and 65DAA.Where there is equal shared parental responsibility and the Court does not order equal time shared between the parents, the Court then has to consider whether substantial and significant time with each parent is in the child’s best interest, is practical, and if so, consider making that part of the parenting order.Significant and substantial time is considered to be: Where agreement has been reached amicably, a parenting plan can be made legally binding by filing a consent order with the Court.The remainder of this section describes Parenting Orders.More information on financial orders can be found on the financial arrangements page.