Parenting

If you can't agree on parenting arrangements, you can apply for parenting orders. This page has information on the parenting order application process, but your application won't be accepted unless you have made a genuine effort to resolve your dispute before you apply.

If you can agree to parenting arrangements without having the Court decide, you can make a parenting plan or apply for consent orders.

The application on this page applies to most types of parenting orders, but the process is different for recovery orders.

 

To apply for parenting orders, you need to file:

  • an Initiating Application (Form 1)
  • a Case Information Affidavit
  • a document meeting the family dispute resolution requirement, which can be:
    • a certificate from a family dispute resolution practitioner, or
    • a family dispute resolution exemption form, and any other forms supporting the exemption request. See the exemptions page for more details.
  • a copy of:
    • your marriage certificate, if you were married, or
    • the children's birth certificates, if you weren't married.

You may be applying for parenting orders and property and financial orders in the same Initiating Application. If so, you also need to file a Financial Statement (Form 13) and a supporting affidavit. Read the property and financial orders page for more information on the Financial Statement.

You should read the parenting order resources and seek legal advice before applying, as it's important that you understand the consequences of the orders you are requesting.

Initiating Application (Form 1)

The Initiating Application is where you give the Court:

The orders are the main focus of the Initiating Application, you go into greater detail about your children and your dispute in the Case Information Affidavit.

What orders should I request?

The types of parenting orders page has information on what parenting orders can cover. Your application needs to include the specific orders you are requesting the Court to make.

In addition, you may wish to request interim orders. Interim orders put temporary arrangements in place while your application is being dealt with.

Case information affidavit

The Case Information Affidavit  is used to give the Court details of your dispute. The Case Information Affidavit has sections on:

After you complete the form, you need to sign the affidavit on the last page in front of an authorised witness. Signing the affidavit is to swear that the facts in the Case Information Affidavit are true to the best of your knowledge.

Urgent hearings

The first hearing will usually be 42 days after you file your application. If you have requested interim orders and think they need to be dealt with sooner than 42 days, you can request an urgent hearing.

Hearings are usually considered urgent when children are at risk of harm or being relocated, and the Court will deal with the issues as soon as possible. The Court will deal with your application the same day if necessary. 

To request an urgent hearing, you need to write a letter to the Duty Registrar explaining why you need an urgent hearing. Contact the Registry and seek legal advice, including through the legal aid staff at the Court. The registry and legal aid staff will help you request an urgent application.

Filing the application

After you have completed the forms and sworn the affidavits, you can file the documents at the registry in person or by post. You need to file your:

If there are more than two parties to your application, file additional copies of the documents. You will need to serve the extra copies on the other parties.

Application fee

There is an application fee for applying for parenting orders. Visit the fees page for information on fees, how to pay them, and the criteria to qualify for a reduced fee.

Serving the application

After filing, you will need to serve your application on the other party.

In urgent matters the Duty Registrar may deal with interim orders without the respondent being served or notified. This is called an ex parte hearing.

Next steps

After you have filed and served your application, the next step is to attend the first hearing. You may be served with a response from the other party before the hearing.

At the first hearing the judicial officer conducting the hearing will consider how to manage your case and will hear any concerns regarding the children. The judicial officer may make interim orders or refer you to a Case Assessment Conference.


Last updated: 16-Apr-2018

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