What Distinguishes Parenting Plans From Consent Orders?


What Distinguishes Parenting Plans From Consent Orders?
What Distinguishes Parenting Plans From Consent Orders?

What differentiates parenting plans from consent orders is a frequent query we get at our family law firm in Perth.

The distinction between parenting plans and consent orders is explained in detail here.

How Do Parenting Plans Work?

Parenting Plans are voluntary agreements made by both parents outside of Family Court that address the upbringing and welfare of their children following a divorce or separation.

These issues may include:

  • who will be the children’s primary caregiver;
  • how much time the kids will spend with the other parent and possibly other family members;
  • education,
    health care
  • financial assistance,
  • the regular activities and routines of youngsters,
  • The method of communication between the parents,
  • The relocation of the children,
  • Or any other matters the parents may desire to specify.

What Are Orders for Consent?


Consent Orders are voluntary written agreements that both parents reach on the upbringing and care of their children; however, they do not cover as many details, such as money and child support. They may take a little longer to receive since the Family Court must authorize them.

However, there are a few more important distinctions between parenting plans and consent orders.

Parenting Plans & Consent Orders: Key Differences

Does The Court Have To Give Its Approval?

Contrary to Consent orders perth, Parenting Plans do not require the Family Court’s approval in order to be binding. However, the Court must be convinced that the requested Consent Order is in the best interests of the child or children. Although the Court must approve the Consent Order, neither parent must go through a drawn-out and expensive legal process.

Parents will only need to go through the Family Court if they are unable to reach an agreement over the arrangements for their children, typically through the required mediation process. The Family Court will then decide on their behalf based on what is in the children’s best interests.

Is It Enforceable By Law?


Parenting Plans are best for divorced couples who can maintain a cordial relationship because they are not legally binding.

Consent Orders are issued by the Court, making them enforceable and defensible in court. In situations when one parent might suspect the other of disobeying the Order in the future, they are highly advised.

Additionally, consent orders act as a powerful disincentive for any parent who might be considering breaking the agreement. When you violate your orders, you could face consequences.

What Is The Price?


There is no filing fee with the Court because Parenting Plans do not need to be authorized by the court.

Applications for Consent Orders must be filed through Family Court and the cost is reasonable.

The cost of a family lawyer‘s legal services may be higher if you hire them to draught a parenting plan or consent order.

Is It Modifiable?


Parenting Plans are more adaptable and can be modified in the future as circumstances change with mutual consent.

Only a subsequent application to the Court will allow for the modification of consent orders.

The Court will undoubtedly take the contents of the Parenting Plan into consideration but will not be bound by them in the event that a parent wishes to convert a Parenting Plan to a Court Order. Once more, the final decision will be made based on what is best for the child.

Should I Obtain A Consent Order Or A Parenting Plan?


Considering that every family and divorce has its own special conditions, getting legal counsel is highly advised. Your mediator will be able to best advise you on which choice will best meet your needs because all divorcing couples in Australia with children must first try family mediation.


Robert Parker

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