This article provides general information about parenting orders in Australia and should not serve as a substitute for legal advice.

A parenting order is a set of orders made by a court regarding parenting arrangements for a child. A court can make a parenting order based on an agreement decided upon between the parties (consent orders) or after a court hearing or trial. When a parenting order is made, each person affected by the order must follow it. The best interests of the child will be the court’s most important consideration when making parenting orders.

Under s 64B of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), a parenting order can deal with a wide array of matters including:

  • where a child will live
  • the amount of time the child will spend with each parent and the circumstances of that time spent (e.g. supervised)
  • parental responsibility
  • and any other aspect relevant to the care, welfare or development of the child.


Who Can Apply for Parenting Orders?

Under s 65C of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), an application for a parenting order can be brought by:

  • the child’s parents, separately or together
  • the child
  • a grandparent, or
  • any other person concerned with the care, welfare or development of the child.


Before Applying

The court requires a genuine effort to resolve the matter by family dispute resolution. Part VII of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) requires that an applicant obtain a certificate (‘s 60I Certificate’) from a registered family dispute resolution practitioner before filing an application for a parenting order. However, there are a few exceptions to filing such a certificate.

It is advisable that you seek legal advice if you are planning on seeking parenting orders. Our experienced and dedicated lawyers at Eckert Legal can advise and assist you.