Parenting Matters

A Parenting Plan is a workable agreement focused on the future and primarily on what is in the best interest of the child/children.


As a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (FDRP) our Director will assist the parties to reach a documented workable solution usually dealing with (although not limited to) the following:


  • Child drop-off and pick-up;

  • Education;

  • Financial support;

  • Health care;

  • How the children will communicate with interested parties;

  • Living arrangements;

  • Religion;

  • Special days;

  • Special needs;

  • Vaccinations;

  • With whom and the frequency the children spend time with e.g. parents; grandparents; relatives; friends; and others; and

  • Any other aspects of care, welfare and development for the children.


Parenting Plans are different from a Parenting Order. A Parenting Order is made upon application to the Family Court of Australia and is legally enforceable.  

A Parenting Plan is a non-enforceable Agreement and may be varied time to time by mutual agreement without Court approval. A Parenting Order by consent to giving the parties a greater sense of security with the arrangements. Parenting Orders may subsequently be varied by a Parenting Plan without subsequent Court Order.


Property & Asset Distribution

While negotiation about Property can be complex, The Family Law Act provides that any agreement should seek to make a ‘fair and equitable’ distribution of the assets pool.


Our FDRPs will support the parties to reach Agreement using the following 4 Step process.

      Step 1 -   Identify & value the assets

      Step 2 -    Assess each person's contributions

      Step 3 -   Identify future needs

      Step 4 -    Consider justice & equity overall


Grandparent Rights

A relationship between grandparent and grandchild or grandchildren relies on coordination with the parents.  In circumstances where the relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild or grandchildren’s parents breaks down, the grandparent can be left feeling distressed and unsure about their ‘right’ to see their grandchild or grandchildren.  


During Family Dispute Resolution the parties can discuss what is in the best interest of the child, noting that the court recognises that it can be in the best interests of a child to have a relationship with their grandparents because grandparents are generally “people significant to a child’s care, welfare and development”.


As the FDRP our Director will assist the parties to negotiate successful outcome considering; the time the grandparent spends with the grandchild or grandchildren and the impact the grandparent can have on their future lives. The outcome may be documented within a Parenting Plan, which by consent can then be used in applying for a Court Order, if necessary.  

We mediate a range of issues that arise from the ending of a relationship.  We can help you identify what needs to be addressed.

Paul Pattison, Managing Director