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Agreement Without Court



An agreement can be obtained without going to Court with what is called Consent Orders, and with children there is the additional option of a parenting plan.

Best Interests of the Child

When working out the child care arrangements, the best interest of the child remains the paramount consideration

Best Interests Considerations

In assessing a child's best interests, the Family Law Act outlines relevant factors.  These factors include

Protection from harm and family violence
Meeting the physical and emotional needs of the child
Views of the child

Child Focused

It is important to be child focused.

Put another way, what is best for the child may not be fair for a parent, but the child will come first.

Types of Parenting Agreements

There are three options for a parenting agreement.


A Handshake

If parents get along okay then a formal agreement may not be needed. If things become difficult later, then one of the other options can be used.

Parenting Plan

Is an informal agreement in writing. It is not legally binding. But breaches can be considered if court action is later started.

Consent Orders

Is a legally binding agreement. Where there is agreement, it can be obtained without anyone going to Court. Usually best where certainty is needed.


Mediation can be a good way to discuss issues and try to reach an agreement.

For parenting issues, it is compulsory to try before starting court action (but there are exceptions).

There are many low or no cost options. Such as through Relationships Australia.

But it is not for everyone.. It is only appropriate where it is safe to do so.